This spring all the major media covered new million dollars in NFT sales of digital art. But so you don't think, that this article is only for those, who are in the know, I will write everything in simple words, so that even our future creators, who now draw the sun, cats, dad and mom with their felt-tip pens could understand.
Ether (ETH), bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies work, using the entries in a book, which is stored on billions of computers around the world. One bitcoin, like a one hundred dollar bill can be sent, exchanged, given. To pay for goods, we care only about the amount, indicated on the bill, and all of them in a bundle of the same banknotes have the same value. In the Ethereum book (and others) you can record not only how much and where the money was sent, but also make a note, that the painting was created by this artist. Just, imagine a book, where the records are:
– c. X sent Ms. Ann 0.15 doges.
– A painting [“Don't give me hope”] 50x60 – creator - Memesis, 2020 .03 (picture is attached).
– A painting [“Don't give me hope”] 50x60 – owner Microwhale.
From that very moment, when the painting ended up listed in the book and we know its creator and owner, we can watch the entire history of its sales and ownership. And unlike the nameless coins, this entry (the certificate of ownership) is unique. Another example, the author wants to sell a thousand badges with the same picture, then he will indicate in the records:
– A badge [“Don't give me hope”], circ. 1000 pcs. – creator - Memesis, 2020 .03.
Each badge from this thousand will be recorded #0001, #0002, #0003…
A record of a unique painting and a record of each numbered badge and of that, who owns this work is actually the creation of a non-fungible token – unique token (NFT). And then this thing, like any other creations, begins to live its own life within the framework of blockchains (these ledgers). They can be sold, presented, transferred to another owner. Everything will be documented.
At the same time, the rights to the original painting, if a token is minted with its digital version, remain with the author. The author's record is also stored in the history of the work and one of the interesting features of the blockchain for these records – is - when creating tokens, the author can specify, how many % he will receive as royalties. With every resale, this percentage will go to the creator's account. The lecture is over.
Slow down, please, I am writing down. Where to?
To create such records, blockchains have standards and sites based on them – NFT marketplaces. Easier to say, these are the sites, where authors place tokens of their works, while collectors browse catalogs or auctions and buy them for cryptocurrency. To name a few, for example: rarible.com, niftygateway.com, foundation.app, opensea.io, superrare.co.
To register, to create records and buy cryptoart (art, graphics, memes – all creations, which are traded for cryptocurrency) is possible, using wallets, where you have these cryptocurrencies. How to buy and sell cryptocurrency today – is a topic for another article.
And then the collectors' frenzy begins, investment fever, when authors seek to put their works for sale and auction, collectors want to snatch something unique, and those, who invested in crypto, wanna convert their investment in art, for future resale.
To place NFTs on such platforms, as Nifty Gateway, Foundation, Super rare you need either pass the selection through a questionnaire and get approval of the market administration or to get an invitation (hunt for invites). On Rarible and Opensea, the entry threshold is lower and you can create tokens right after registration (the same process, like on any other regular sites, only with binding and actions confirmation through a crypto wallet). Another dropout threshold – are the blockchain fees when creating and selling NFT. In particular, if the market commission on Rarible 2,5% will be debited only when the token is sold, then the Ethereum network fees for “gas” when minting a token at different times, start at about $50 dollars.
I wanna be a billionaire so freaking bad…
This song should start playing in your head. Why is everyone so eager to show their works on NFT platforms? – For many authors it is a chance to sell their paintings, animation, characters. And at an early stage in the development of this story – there are definitely such opportunities.
Do you also hate articles that include a couple of examples, when somebody listed their art and the next day his illustration was sold for several million, and at the auction of another artist, a battle of bids broke out and his funny cube went under the hammer for half a mil? And then the thought is incepted, that you can do it too. Hype. More hype…
Name and popularity in the offline world work the same way in a digital world. People, who have already shown something in the art world, will have an easier time selling their works. It is a fact, confirmed by human psychology.
Pop stars, designers, musicians open the art world doors with their feet and one more interesting fact, is that in these, not yet the largest communities, celebrities come to talk to collectors and other creators, as an interview in small rooms.
For example, Paris Hilton chatting at Nifty on Discord is within walking distance (and you don't tell me, that Paris is nothing – it just means, that a bunch of famous people will also try to do something in the field of digital art). I think that's why many people were also eager to go to Clubhouse, to be able listen to interesting people, who seemed to be in the same room with you.
What to do?
Even with an entry threshold, in the form of fees, necessity to learn how to use cryptocurrencies and wallets, I think you should try to show your creations or help convey to the audience the art of people , you like and get inspired with. Then, send them this article, post your unique works and make some noise about it (noname artists promote each other's work on twitter, other social networks and sales are on). Your questions about creating tokens (drops minting) on the sites, you can submit in the comments section. If you have created an NFT and are looking for one more option, where to show/promote your art, you're also welcome to send links in the comments!