Cryptoart is taking the digital world by force. Currently estimated at $100 million, the industry recently made headway with a record-breaking $69 million sale for digital NFT artwork at the traditional auction house, Christie’s. Cryptoart is quickly becoming a revolutionary new tool that marries both digital artwork and blockchain technology.
NFTs — digital files owned and traded on a variety of new online platforms — include a still or moving image, similar to many physical pieces of artwork. They can stamp any digital asset as a one-of-a-kind. They are then stored in digital wallets as collectors’ items. Some of them are worth six figures or even millions. Recently, top auction houses like Christie’s announced that they would accept Ethereum cryptocurrency for art sales.
While some think it’s merely a fad, NFTs help formalize digital ownership and offer a way for permanent ownership beyond the life of any single company or platform. At the same time, it allows artists to own property rights for what they create, giving them more autonomy.
As the burgeoning new market accelerates in investment, here are several leading cryptoart exchanges to keep an eye on:
The digital, Ethereum art exchange holds much promise as an artist-driven platform that makes it easy for digital creators to authenticate, showcase and sell their artwork. The platform currently hosts 1200+ artists on the platform, over 8,000 editions and more than 18,000 digital artworks sold, totaling $6.8 million in sales to date. Not only does the service use blockchain because of its transparency, but its non-fungible contracts offer security. With Ethereum and smart contracts, KnownOrigin helps ensure that provenance and chain-of-custody are permanently maintained for all digital art.
The Nifty Gateway
The Nifty Marketplace is the Ethereum-based platform to access some of today’s most sought-after fine artwork and other collectibles from artists, including Cey Adams, Trevor Jones and CryptoKitties. Limited-edition collections are released regularly and sell out fast.
It is among the most popular websites for artists to release digital collectibles on the primary marketplace. The website also has a secondary marketplace for NFT owners to sell their digital art, making it easier for users to purchase and sell any non-fungible tokens on the platform.
Searching for rare digital art? MakersPlace is touted as an authentic and unique digital creation platform powered by Ethereum, with an emphasis on digital creators. The company connects artists with collectors and fans through a global marketplace and network of partners. Creators digitally sign their artwork and set a limited amount of their work while delivering proof of authenticity and ownership and scarcity on the blockchain. On MakersPlace, creators can better capture the full underlying value of the digital work. Artists, photographers, writers, and more use the platform to create and sell their work online through blockchain technology.
An extremely accessible platform, Rarible is likely to become the most accessible of all the NFT selling platforms in the market as anyone can publish their NFT’s on the site, and buyers/sellers earn $RARI. As the top-ranked global NFT marketplace, Rarible’s ability to democratize access to both minting and buying has led well-known influencers, including Mark Cuban and Sean Lennon, to use the service. In a year, the platform hit 29,000 unique buyers in 2021 and over $29 million in trading volume. They have also recently raised $1.75 million in funding from ParaFi, Coinbase, 1kx and more.
Async art, a collectible and experimental app, features the world of programmable art where living art is purposely created to change over time. The platform is a revolutionary way to interact with art, built on the blockchain. Users can create, collect, and trade programmable artworks: digital paintings split into “layers”, which collectors can use to affect the overall image. The platform’s premise focuses on the idea that art can evolve over time and with Async, it can even react to its owners and track stocks over time. Launched in February 2020, Async has already acquired over $5M in bid volume and over $1M in artist sales.
The app also allows users to display their favorite Async-purchased artwork right on their TV and is built to fully utilize the full qualities of programmable art. The app offers on-screen notifications for every layer change, along with other features like frame customization, an overlay with artist information, and full gallery access.
Established a few years ago, the SuperRare platform, described as “Instagram meets Robinhood”, is currently the largest art enterprise on Ethereum. The curated platform has managed nearly $5 million in NFT art sales. The average sales price of a piece on SuperRare currently sits at $7,505 with a token volume of $2,808.791 ETH. Notably, the first piece minted on the platform, Robbie Barrat’s “AI Generated Nude #1”, sold for 75 ETH in a secondary sale in early 2020. Since then, SuperRare has fostered a flourishing community of artists and collectors that seeks to collect and trade unique, single-edition digital artworks on the platform.