A brief on the state in which Crypto Art exists during the present day. We'll look at what it is, the consumption of the art itself and the function that marketplaces play.
So what is Crypto Art?
Quite simply, Crypto Art is art which has been ‘tokenized’, that is to say, recorded with a non-fungible token (NFT) on the blockchain. This provides a permanent record of provenance and ownership.
This type of art comes in two main forms; images and voxels. A good analogy to use is that images can be likened to real world paintings and voxels to sculptures. Images can be static or animated GIFs and voxels can represent many differing forms such as a statue or an abstract shape; they can even be made into wearable items for VR avatars.
How do I consume it?
One of the most interesting ways in which to appreciate Crypto Art is through virtual reality. Sites such as Cryptovoxels (CV) allow users to purchase parcels of virtual land and build galleries, shops and other creative endeavors. Visiting galleries on CV is as easy as entering a web address into your browser.
In fact, there’s been a large uptake on the Cent website with regards to these creative types of undertakings. The Cryptovoxels Art Tour is the most notable, whereby a group of artists came together to link our galleries into a seamless virtual tour. Although these galleries can be appreciated with just a standard web browser, the experience can be further enhanced with the use of hardware such as an Oculus Go. Similar sites worth discovering include Decentraland, Somnium Space and The Sandbox.
How do I acquire it?
After a piece of Crypto Art has caught your eye, acquiring it is very straightforward. Numerous online marketplaces have sprung up that allow you to transact on the Ethereum blockchain. In general these sites permit you to search for your favorite artists, artworks or filter by other options, such as price. From there, it is simply a question of choosing to buy immediately or make a bid directly to the artist.
The advantage these marketplaces have for artists is that they provide an all-in-one platform from tokenizing art on the blockchain through to the final sale. Each marketplace has fees and smart contract functionality unique to that site. Most sites allow artists to create tokens on their marketplace smart contract and charge a 15% commission fee on sales. However, some sites provide a facility for creators to tokenize on their own personal smart contract, and receive 10% royalty payments on subsequent sales. Sites include, OpenSea, MakersPlace, SuperRare and Known Origin.
Where to from here?
Start collecting! The future can be difficult to predict, but what I can say with certainty is that the Ethereum NFT space is booming. Growth is sure to continue as more people are drawn into this exciting world. There is plenty to do and many opportunities to get involved.