Crypto art experiences record sales through uncertain economic times

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Async powered NFT crypto art piece raises over $140,000

After the summer of DeFi cooled, a new asset class started to emerge in the form of crypto art bought and sold as ERC-721 non-fungible tokens. NFT crypto art has been making headlines recently for all the right reasons. 

On September 21st, 2020, the record-breaking sale of Matt Kane’s “Right Place & Right Time” on marked the first time a crypto art piece had sold for more than $100,000. A historical sale for an art-based NFT appeared to signal the emerging market as gaining traction despite uncertain economic times. 

Now, under three months later a second piece has raised over $140,000. A programmable version of a scene depicting Vitalik Butterin of Ethereum dressed like a medieval harlequin leaning against a velvet chair made records this weekend when an NFT representation sold for 260 ETH or over $141,000 at the time of writing. 

That’s the most paid, in dollar terms, for a work of crypto art to date, according to one of the painting’s co-creators, Trevor Jones.

The trend seems to be driven by a few major factors including Investors looking for a safe store of value and the space receiving heightened attention as platforms tried to integrate DeFi mechanics such as the use of NFTs as collateral, Insurance, and the delivery of governance tokens to loyal users. 

Furthermore, it is essential to mention that since the impact of Covid-19 in the physical world has held true for the majority of 2020 artists and creators have gravitated toward new digital NFT distribution platforms as a way to continue with their work and make an income. 

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Not just any old artworks

Notably, these two pieces of crypto art are quite different from the majority of those available in the market and push the boundaries of what NFT art is capable of. 

The first, Matt Kane’s “Right Place, Right Time” is a one-of-a-kind programmable piece that generates a new image each day. Made of 24 layers synchronized with Bitcoin’s price volatility from the previous 24 hours, it was created exclusively on Async Art.

Crypto art

With the support of TokenAngels, the artwork’s collector, the artist gained a unique opportunity to experiment: sharing revenue with a collector in the form of subsequent minted variations of the artwork. Through, Matt Kane will periodically produce and sell digital art NFTs to represent a day in the life of Bitcoin. This NFT will also grant its owner the right to purchase a physical print.

“As a nod to Bitcoin’s 21 million fixed supply, the collector receives 21% of the individual NFT and print sales. Only 210 NFTs will be minted. Our partnership, a first between artist and collector, is one we hope inspires future partnerships, which will continue to innovate upon and strengthen this new model we’ve birthed,” says artist Matt Kane.

The second piece of crypto art, a collaboration between crypto artists Trevor Jones and Alotta Money depicts a digital painting called EthBoy, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Ethereum co-founder Buterin. The image uses programmable technology called “layering” to remake itself daily. The piece has just overtaken Matt Kane’s NFT as the most expensive ever sold in dollar terms. 

Crypto art
EthBoy by Trevor Jones and Alotta Money sold for over $140k

NFT crypto art

The latest wave of NFT innovation has been enabled by the blockchain-based art market and platform Async Art, which EthBoy was released on. Async Art allows digital artworks to reflect external data and stimuli. 

EthBoy will change every day, “in response to external variables out of ours or anyone else’s control,” Jones’ website reads.

“As the months and years progress EthBoy on Async will become an artistic, visual representation of Ethereum relating to factors including price fluctuations, gas fees, an accessory layer connected to one of Vitalik’s wallet address, and even annual changes triggered by Vitalik’s birthday and the initial release of the Ethereum system,” the site continues.

What is Async.Art?

Async Art is a new art movement built on the blockchain that allows users to create, collect, and trade programmable art: digital paintings split into “Layers”, which you can use to affect the overall image. Art that can evolve over time, react to its owners, or follow a stock price is now possible with programmable art.

Launched in February 2020, there has already been over $2.5M in bid volume on the platform and over $600,000 in artist sales.

Async allows users to purchase both Masters and Layers. Think of a Master as a 1/1 edition art piece and Layers are individual components that make up the Master image. Once live, the Master will continually check its Layers and update its appearance based on the Layer owner’s input.

When a collector purchases a Layer they will have exclusive control and be able to affect the artists’ work. Layers are endowed with special abilities decided by the artist. When you change something on a Layer the Master image will reflect this regardless of who owns it.

Async allows artists to decide the parameters of the art and grant exclusive control over any aspect to individual collectors. Including letting someone change the state of the background, the position of a character, or the color of the sky. 

In other words, art has become programmable, limited only by the imagination.

Crypto art
Gallery View on Async

Crypto art or data visualization? 

At DappRadar we track and visualize dapp data for our users. Indeed, the use of data-driven content has never been more potent than in 2020 where the world has had heightened interest in one set of data particularly. The idea of charts and graphs to visualize data sets is not new, but the idea of using artists’ representations of data is something not previously seen. 

At this stage, it would only be correct to see these works as beta tests for wider application and use of crypto art. But, the idea of being able to look at complex numerical data through the lens of popular crypto art is surely exciting and may open up the data to entirely new markets. 

While we recognize at this stage that complex investment decisions would not be based on the changing crypto art pieces. It does, however, offer a new, and exciting way to communicate with audiences around the world.

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