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LONDON, ENGLAND, October 14, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In recent years we have increasingly seen the merging of the virtual and the non-virtual worlds. This is changing the way that we live our lives beyond recognition. The introduction and growth in the use of cryptocurrency are revolutionising the business world, and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are having a similar impact on the world of art.
What is an NFT and How is it Used in the Art World?
A non-fungible token is a unit of data that is stored on the blockchain. It can be used to represent digital media, giving it a unique code, meaning that it can be 'owned'. This digital media could consist of digital art, gifs, videos, and even tweets. A key aspect to NFTs is that they cannot be 'exchanged', unlike cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, meaning that they are an asset that is 'one of a kind', unique, can be bought and sold, but not interchanged with something else.
In the art world, digital art can often be easily duplicated – and to a great extent. The existence of NFTs means that this artwork can be digitally authenticated so that it cannot be duplicated and, therefore, bought and sold, allowing artists to earn money from it.
In addition to the use of NFTs in digital art, we are also beginning to see them being used in traditional, non-digital art. Some art museums such as St Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum are creating NFTs of some of their masterpieces – including works by Leonard da Vinci, Claude Monet, and Vincent van Gogh. This has far-reaching implications for the art world and its future.
The Benefits of NFTs for Art Museums
The benefits of NFTs for digital art and other digital media are obvious. They allow art that does not have a physical form to be bought, sold, collected, and appreciated. They allow for the ownership of the piece as well as for artists to monetise their digital art from both the initial sale and from further sales in the future.
The creation of NFTs associated with physical art, however, can have other benefits.
Extra Income for Art Museums
The introduction of NFTs gives art museums the ability to earn extra income from their artwork. Experienced art collector and investor, Olyvia Kwok Decani suggests that "paintings stay in the same places but will generate income from the NFT's and we will donate a large portion back to the museums in Bitcoins".
This means that the original artwork will still be available to see at art museums, for people to enjoy, but its digital form can be bought and sold in the virtual world, providing an extra income stream for the museum.
Increasing Reach to the Younger Generations
Whether it is digital art, media, or currencies, the world is continually incorporating digital into everyday life, and this new wave is being guided by the younger generation. By incorporating NFTs in both new and older art, museums can make all art more accessible to younger people.
As stated by Olyvia Kwok Decani, NFTs are "also opening wider horizons for the younger generation to know/find out more about the museums and their paintings". They are bringing the traditional world of art into the 21st century, benefitting both the art museums and the younger generations, and can have the effect of being able to "create awareness in the different price point, different culture to appreciate the "old" with the "new"".
Democratisation of Art
The ability for artists to promote and sell their work in the virtual world means that the art world can become a far more democratic place, giving them wider reach to a greater number of people. This means that art collecting can increasingly be easily accessible to a wider range of people.
Art as an Investment
Art has been used as an asset for investment for years now. It is an excellent option as its value can rarely go down, and it is more resilient to other economic fluctuations. One negative that traditionalists are accusing NFTs of bringing to the art world is financialisaton. They consider NFTs to be reducing art to be simply a monetary unit, especially given that in some cases, the art does not exist in a physical form.
It is the case, however, that digital art does exist, and, therefore, there must be a method for artists to monetise their work, and NFTs appear to be the best way to do this.
We are increasingly living in a hybrid world. A mixture of digital and analogue, virtual and non-virtual. For the world of art to continue to thrive, embracing the concept of NFTs is likely to be the future of art.
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