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OPLIN 4Cast #741: Digital artwork can now be worth as much as famous paintings

Posted in 4cast

Way back in high school, one of my favorite things to do on our school’s Apple IIe’s was to make digital art…but, back then, it had to be literally coded pixel by pixel. There were no “graphics programs.” Then came notable programs like MS Paint, Photoshop, and even VR applications like Google’s Tilt Brush that allows art to be created in a three-dimensional space. However, no matter how good any artwork is, it isn’t really uniquely valuable; digital artwork can be recreated and copied. But, when blockchain gets added to the mix, suddenly a digital work can have a unique provenance–which means that it can also be worth a lot of money. Welcome to the new world of Non-Fungible Tokens.

  • The bitcoin elite are spending millions on collectable memes [Wired] “Yet NFT proponents purport to be solving exactly that problem: the near-impossibility of monetising digital artworks. “As a mechanism, NFTs make it possible to assign value to digital art, which opens the door to a sea of possibility for a medium that is unbridled by physical limitations,” says Noah Davis, a specialist in post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s.”
  • NFTs, explained [The Verge] ““Non-fungible” more or less means that it’s unique and can’t be replaced with something else. For example, a bitcoin is fungible — trade one for another bitcoin, and you’ll have exactly the same thing. A one-of-a-kind trading card, however, is non-fungible. If you traded it for a different card, you’d have something completely different. “
  • How a 10-second video clip sold for $6.6 million {Reuters] “Investors caution, however, that while big money is flowing into NFTs, the market could represent a price bubble. Like many new niche investment areas, there is the risk of major losses if the hype dies down, while there could be prime opportunities for fraudsters in a market where many participants operate under pseudonyms.”
  • Blockchain company buys and burns Banksy artwork to turn it into a digital original [CBS News] “While digital art has recently become popular, this event is the first major instance in which a physical artwork was turned into a unique digital asset, according to Injective Protocol executive Mirza Uddin.”

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