Generally, a non-fungible token (NFT) represents the ownership of a unique piece of content such as a work of art, music, or other digital media. Based on this definition, NFT art is a digital token that represents a piece of digital art that is authenticated and verified on a blockchain. In simple terms, it is a digital artwork that has been converted to an NFT. The NFT certifies the ownership and originality of the artwork, thus allowing the art to be traded as a unique asset. Digital arts can be digital paintings, animations, drawings, and videos, among other media formats.
Why NFT Art is Gaining Popularity
Although NFTs were developed in 2017, it was in 2021 that they captured the attention of collectors, artists, and investors. Their popularity was due to prominent sales of some digital arts. Top on the list was the auction of Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” for $69.3 million in March 2021.
Also, the coronavirus pandemic which caused a radical shift to digital experiences contributed to diverting the world’s attention to NFTs. NFTs provided a medium for art lovers and collectors to experience and enjoy art even after the closure of art galleries, museums, and exhibition venues. Therefore, as people spent more time online, they welcomed the idea of owning unique digital assets.
5 Reasons Why NFT Arts Are Popular
Uniqueness and Authenticity: NFT arts gain their uniqueness and authenticity by being verified on a blockchain network. Every NFT art has a digital signature that certifies its originality and ownership.
Scarcity: Scarcity increases value. And valuable items are popular. NFT arts are often limited in supply. Digital artists often create or make available for purchase a few copies (sometimes, only one). This limited supply makes digital art valuable, exclusive, and popular.
The blockchain/cryptocurrency boom: An increased awareness of blockchain technology birthed an increased interest in cryptocurrencies. This rise of cryptocurrencies also brought attention to digital artworks since they are usually purchased with cryptocurrencies such as ETH or SOL.
The control and royalties artists enjoy: Because of the autonomy and royalties NFT arts offer, many artists have been drawn to them. Digital artists can set their prices and earn royalties from future sales.
Diverse online marketplaces: The popularity of NFT artworks was sufficiently matched by the development of several NFT marketplaces. Marketplaces such as OpenSea and Blur have made it easy for artists and collectors to trade digital art.
NFT Marketplaces | Where to Buy NFT Art
As mentioned earlier, NFT marketplaces make it easy for creators and collectors to buy and sell artworks. Popular marketplaces include:
OpenSea: This was the largest and most popular NFT marketplace until it recently lost its dominance to Blur. At the start of 2022, it had over 89% of the market share and reached a high of $5.19 billion in trading volume. The platform offers a wide range of digital assets from NFT artworks to collectibles.
Blur: Launched in October 2022, Blur had a total trading volume of over $23 million, capturing 4.2% of the market share. By December 2022, its trading volume spiked to over $470 million, accounting for 54.6% of the market share.
Magic Eden: This is a decentralized platform for users to buy, sell, and trade NFTs. Launched in September 2021, it was initially limited to the Solana blockchain but recently integrated Ethereum-based NFTs.
NFT Art Trends
Like other innovations, NFT art ushered in several trends, despite being a new and evolving field. These trends mirror the use cases of NFTs or NFT arts. Some of them include:
The Metaverse and virtual worlds: The Metaverse and virtual reality (VR) gained prominence alongside NFTs. These virtual worlds mimic the real world and require a technology that provides digital identities to users—and NFTs do just that. NFT artists create art that can be displayed in the Metaverse. These arts can be collectibles, virtual fashion, and art for virtual galleries. They can also be used in gaming and to decorate virtual real estate.
Pop culture: Pop culture is one medium through which innovations stamp their place in the world. NFT arts also went through this route. Notable examples of NFT art in pop culture include:
In February 2021, a musician called Grimes sold a collection of digital art for over $6 million. The art comprised unique pieces of animations and music videos.
In April 2021, The Weeknd released an NFT collection in collaboration with Nifty Gateway. The collection included 3D animations and interactive experiences inspired by The Weeknd's music.
Artists have also created NFT art inspired by video games like Minecraft and Fortnite.
Social Commentary: Several NFT artists have used their art to participate in significant conversations around the world. They have been used to amplify marginalized voices and create spaces for dialogue. For example Krista Kim's art piece called "Mars House" triggered conversations about how women are carving out a niche for themselves in the NFT market.
Top NFT Artists
The rise of NFT art revealed to the world many talented artists. While there are many artists making waves in the NFT space, here are some NFT artists who have gained recognition and made notable sales:
Beeple: Beeple has been creating and selling NFT artworks since 2017. In March 2021, his artwork “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” sold for $69 million at Christie's auction house.
Pak: Pak is a pseudonymous digital artist with a focus on abstract and surreal art. In April 2021, he sold his NFT collection "The Fungible" for more than $17 million.
Trevor Jones: Trevor Jones is both a traditional and digital artist. Popular works of Trevor include “The Bitcoin Angel,” “The Alchemy of Memes,” and “The Fountain.”
FEWOCiOUS: 20-year-old FEWOCiOUS has gained recognition for his vibrant and expressive digital works. His NFT collection “Hello, The Future” sold for over $2 million in March 2021.
Krista Kim: Krista Kim is a digital artist who has created several popular NFT collections, including “Mars House” that sold for over $500,000 in 2021.
Top NFT Arts
Here are some popular NFT artworks and their value.
Beeple's "Everydays: The First 5000 Days"
Beeple's "The Complete MF Collection"
Pak's "The Fungible Collection"
Trevor Jones and Alotta Money's "The Bitcoin Angel"
Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash's "Quantum"
Robert Alice's "Portraits of a Mind"
How to Buy NFT Art | Key Steps
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to buy NFT artwork
Choose a platform
Set up a wallet
Browse and select your preferred NFT art
Place a bid or make a purchase
Transfer the NFT to your wallet
Choosing a Platform
Choosing the right platform is important when buying NFT art. The right platform is essential for a safe, secure, and enjoyable experience. To choose rightly, there are certain factors to consider. They include:
Reputation: Choose a platform with a good reputation. Check for reviews and feedback from other NFT users. Usually, popular NFT artists list their works on reputable platforms. This is another way to determine the authenticity of an NFT marketplace.
Security: It is important to ensure that the platform has robust security to protect your personal and financial information. Look for platforms with security structures such as encryption and two-factor authentication.
Fees: NFT marketplaces charge commissions for buying and selling NFT art on their platform. Therefore, it is imperative you understand and factor in the fee structure of the platform before making your purchase.
User interface: A user-friendly interface is easy to navigate and also enhances user experience.
Payment options: Choose a platform that accepts your preferred cryptocurrency. For example, OpenSea uses Ethereum (ETH/WETH), Solana (SOL), Avalanche (AVAX), USD Coin (USDC), Binance Coin (BNB), and Dai (DAI). Blur, on the other hand, supports Ethereum and the Blur token.
Setting Up a Wallet
NFTs are usually bought and sold using cryptocurrency, so you will need a crypto wallet to store your art. Remember NFTs are also tokens. Popular wallets used in the NFT space include MetaMask, Trust Wallet, and Coinbase Wallet.
Setting up a wallet to purchase NFT art typically involves three basic steps:
Choose a wallet provider: Choose a wallet provider that supports the blockchain on which your chosen NFT art was created.
Create a wallet: Follow the instructions outlined by the wallet provider to create a wallet. This usually involves choosing a strong password and storing a seed phrase—a series of at least 12 random words that can be used to restore access to your wallet if you lose your password.
Fund the wallet: You will need to fund your wallet with cryptocurrency that is supported by the blockchain you have chosen. Ethereum (ETH) is the most common cryptocurrency for purchasing NFTs. You can fund your wallet through peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions or buy on an exchange such as Binance or Coinbase before transferring it to your wallet.
Browsing and Selecting Your Preferred NFT
Searching, filtering, and selecting NFT vary from platform to platform. However, there are basic steps one can follow:
Navigate to the NFT art section: On your chosen marketplace, find the section that displays NFT art. They could be listed under "art" or "collectibles."
Browse the art: Look through the available art pieces. You can even sort them by parameters such as newest, most popular, highest price, lowest price, etc.
Filter your results: You can filter your search results based on your preferences. You can filter by artist, type of art, price range, or blockchain network.
Placing a Bid or Making a Purchase
You can purchase an NFT art by placing a bid in an auction or making a direct purchase in the marketplace. If you are placing a bid, here are the steps to follow:
Find the NFT art auction you want to bid on
Create an account
Determine your maximum bid
Place your bid
Monitor the auction
Wait for the auction to end
Complete the transaction
If it is a direct purchase, follow these steps:
Find the NFT art you want to buy
Create an account
Check the price
Purchase the NFT art
Wait for confirmation
Access your NFT art
Transferring the NFT to Your Wallet
You can transfer your purchased NFT to your wallet through the following steps:
Obtain the NFT's address
Initiate the transfer
Confirm the transaction
Wait for confirmation
Receive the NFT
Tips for Buying NFT Art
Research the artist and the artwork before buying
Be cautious of scams and do your due diligence
Keep track of your purchases and taxes
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy NFT art?
You can buy NFT art on various online platforms, including OpenSea, Blur, and Magic Eden.
How do I pay for NFT art?
You purchase NFT using cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or Solana. You will need a digital wallet that supports the specific cryptocurrency.
How do I know if the NFT art is authentic?
You can verify the authenticity of an NFT by checking its transaction history and the blockchain network it is on.