Rare Digital Art is a relatively new phenomenon, and one of the new blockchain endeavors. This newer technology allows the creation of a unique Digital Art Market, which was seen as being virtually impossible.

Problems facing (traditional) Digital Art

Traditional Digital Art is a form of art where artists will use digital technology to create masterpieces. Examples of these creations are GIF, Generated Art, Video, etc.

Today, one of the main reasons why Digital Art sales are not growing at the same level as physical art is that they lack uniqueness and authenticity. People are able to easily download traditional Digital Art and then claim them as their own. It can be hard to prove the authenticity of digital works of art, especially after being shared and distributed over the internet.

There are millions of digital artists who are able to create this type of art. Most of them are only able to make money by selling services, or they may sell a physical copy of their creation on a framed print or t-shirts. However, this can be limiting as it can be a bit hard to put a GIF on a t-shirt.

Art studio with wall graffiti
Photo by Matthieu Comoy / Unsplash

The key benefits of Rare Digital Art

Rare Digital Art is a new art form, where the uniqueness and authenticity is guaranteed through blockchain technology. Which enables the digital artist to combine their digital artwork, transactions and identity information and is then inextricably linked to a unique token. Therefore once the unique attributes are stored, you cannot change it.

The protocol called ERC-721 (cf. my previous article on Predicted antiques of the future) build on Ethereum makes the issuing, trade, and ownership of digital assets very possible. The history of ownership of artwork in origin can be traced back enabled and therefore can affect its current and future value. Lastly liquidity is accompanied by the ability to sell, exchange, or freely send works.

Property

Since the Digital Art is linked to a unique token, collectors can now own and store it in a digital wallet. If the token follows industry standards (such as ERC-721), then the token is immediately accessible and can be sold on many markets and platforms.

This may attract digital collectors who have been looking for unique (AI-) generated items or paintings and then leads to a healthy and open secondary market to increase the value of the artwork.

(True) Limited Edition

Creators can now publish only a limited number of signatures and a (true) copy of their digital work, different from those available – for example – by a screenshot or right-click and save.

Again, the authenticity of the artwork is now publicly available and can be found on the blockchain where it was stored. Since this information cannot be changed, the creator or future collectors can ensure that their authenticity can always be proven.

Marketplaces and Brokers

Rare Digital Art brokers such as OpenSea give a great impression on what is currently happening. All it takes is scrolling down their website. You will immediately spot limited or unique numbers of Digital Art issued by various mortal artists or AI.

Image by SuperRare

Super Rare

  • SuperRare is a social platform that encourages the creation and collection of crypto art. Since its early beginning, SuperRare has been working closely with artists listening to their – as well as collectors – needs. On the platform, the art can be bought with ETH and can be uploaded for free, signed through a smart contract. SuperRare was founded by John Crain, Chief Executive Officer of SuperRare and Jonathan Perkins, Chief Product Officer of SuperRare.
Image by MakersPlace

MakersPlace

  • MakersPlace was founded by one of the first employees of Pinterest. Similar to Etsy, the platform allows its artists to sell their work while the startup takes a 15% cut. Collectors receive a non-fungible token (NFT) representing ownership of a limited edition digital version of the product. The acquired assets can be stored on your own crypto wallet or on the MakersPlace wallet. The initial USD 2M seed round was lead by Abstract Ventures, Draper Dragon Fund and Uncork Capital plus angel investors from Pinterest, facebook, Zillow and Coinbase.
Person working on painting
Photo by Ari He / Unsplash

Certification and Provenance

The art world has many problems with fraud and proving chains of custody. This makes art buyers skeptical and leads to an increasing demand for professional verification. As a result this usually also increase the price of an art piece for everyone involved in a sale.

Blockchain technology is perfectly positioned to enable new levels of transparency. There are a handful of companies using blockchain technology to achieve an overview of an artwork's history, as well as to provide irrefutable evidence of ownership.

Certification

Verisart is a blockchain platform that helps users create secure digital certificates for art and collectibles. Using blockchain technology, they can bind these works to detailed provenance records. They aim to create more tamper-proof certificates of authenticity and ownership to reduce fraud and protect legitimate art exchanges.

Provenance

  • FRESCO is a Swiss "trusted distribution platform" for artists, distributors, and art organizations. Their trust token distribution mechanism is called the FRESCO Protocol, and it lets their users assign FRES tokens to each artwork, representing the potential value of the work assigned anonymously by the owner and the community. The platform's communal aspect is enabled by FRES Cash, which lets members of the community assign their own assets to other works. In doing so, they lend credibility to a work's value beyond the owner appraisal.
  • Artory is used to register existing physical artwork. The Artory registry tracks provenance for art and other collectibles using a blockchain ledger to make sure that custody chains are authentic and tamper-proof. The registry provides security and anonymity for buyers and collectors. It simultaneously assures prospective buyers that they have all the accurate information they need before making a purchase decision.

Final words

Back to the original question… why would anyone pay for Digital Art when can you still copy the underlying digital file?

Digital Art in its origin has no original object, or nothing that can be locked securely in a (tax-free) vault. For a long time this hindered the creation of a market for digital artworks. But now – enabled by blockchain technology – a unique cryptographic token can be associated with a digital file and secured in the blockchain. Someone can then buy and own this token and have all transactions securely registered which leads to unique ownership and enables (true) limited editions.

Recommended frames to display your Rare Digital Art collection:


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