You’ve probably heard of NFTs by now, they’ve been a hot topic ever since Mike Winkelmann – the digital artist known as Beeple sold an NFT of his work for $69 million on March 11, 2021. Yeah, you read that right. Someone paid $69 million for a digital piece of art. Could this be the future of art and collectibles? We’ll discuss what NFTs are and whether you as an artist should be selling NFT art.
What is an NFT?
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have been around since 2014 but have recently gained popularity. NFTs are a type of digital asset that are either unique or rare. A digital collectible if you will. NFT’s can be unique meaning there will only ever be one of them or in some cases they can be limited meaning there will only be a small amount of them to ever exist.
An NFT is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger called a blockchain which can be sold or traded and easily tracked. NFTs can be used to represent items such as audio, photos, video, and other types of digital files. While copies of these digital items may be available for anyone to obtain, NFTs are tracked on blockchains to provide the owner with a proof of ownership which also offers a trail of ownership. This is a powerful aspect of NFTs. When you sell an NFT you are of course making money on that sale but not only that, you’ll earn a royalty on any future sales. When you create or “mint” an NFT you can set the royalty percentage that you will be paid if/when that NFT is sold in the future. Royalty payments are perpetual and are executed by smart contracts which you set up when you “mint” your NFT.
Minting an NFT is the process of turning a digital piece of art into a part of the blockchain as a public ledger. Confused? It’s actually pretty simple. The majority of NFTs are taking place on the Ethereum blockchain. With Cardano recently announcing the launch of smart contracts coming September 12th, 2021 expect many artists and creators to start using their platform. For the purpose of this article we’ll stick with why we think you should be selling NFT art and link to some guides if you choose to create your first NFT.
At the moment OpenSea and Rarible are the most popular marketplaces for NFTs. We used OpenSea to create our own collection of Soundwave Art NFTs. It was a pretty straightforward process. Now we must admit, we’ve had experience in the world of Crypto so we were already familiar with the terminology, how to use a Web3-enabled wallet Like MetaMask and we held some ether (ETH) which is a cryptocurrency that is needed when minting NFTs on these platforms. If you decide you want to give it a go you can purchase ETH on Coinbase. If you use that link you’ll earn $10 in Bitcoin if you purchase $100 or more in crypto. (Full disclosure, if you use that link we will also earn $10 in Bitcoin.)
Was that all confusing? Luckily, OpenSea put together a step by step guide on how to mint your own NFTs. By following their guide you’ll be well on your way to minting and selling your first NFT.
The benefit of Selling NFT Art
You’re an artist and you create digital art or animations, maybe you paint. How do you monetize your content? Selling a physical piece of art is one thing, you sell it and it’s gone, you never see a dime from that piece again. selling digital art is another. By minting and selling NFT art your art will forever live on the blockchain. When you mint it and set a royalty you are creating a way to bring in revenue anytime your NFT changes hands in the future.
Imagine being an artist and selling a physical painting for say $200. What if a few years down the road you gain popularity and your art is suddenly selling for thousands? The person that bought one of your original pieces decides to sell it for thousands, you see nothing from that sale. If it’s an NFT you suddenly earn 10% maybe 20% in royalties, all taking place on the blockchain so your royalty automatically gets deposited into your digital wallet without you needing to lift a finger.
We don’t know if selling NFT art is the future but at the end of the second quarter of 2021 it was a 2.5 billion dollar industry. By following the guide that OpenSea put together you can create your own NFT collection in no time and see if you can get a piece of that pie.