Will it soon be the end of contemplating a “real” work of art?

leonel henry

Senior Wealth Manager Nagelmackers

Crypto art is now clearly capable of competing with “mainstream” art.

It is not only on a financial level that 2008 will continue to be a historic year. In addition to the great subprime crisis that spread to an entire sector and gave rise to multiple regulations, it was also at this time that Satoshi Nakamoto has developed software to manage a database built in the form of blocks, the blockchain. This database gave rise to Bitcoin and was soon imitated, launching a wave of births of cryptocurrenciesyes

Lionel Henrion.
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But this technology does not stop there… Thus, by analogy with the first currencies, digital tokens appeared in 2012: the ‘colored coins’, which then represent a (real-life) object to which is attached a (digital) identity, a proof of ownership anchored in the robust Bitcoin blockchain.

Two digital artists, Jennifer and Kevin McCoyhe saw it as a boon to his work and sold his ‘Quantum’ work on the Ethereum blockchain in 2014, considered the first NFT to date.

Birth of crypto art

It was later in June 2017 that Matt Hall and John Watkinson started the crypto art trend with their art project. ‘crypto punks’: 10,000 pixelated characters, some for which collectors are willing to pay millions of euros, or rather thousands of Ethereum.



Artists have found a way to monetize their creations and above all to guarantee their authenticity, a real blessing when you know that the fight against counterfeits is centuries old with traditional art.

Make no mistake, as simplistic as this project may seem, it has also allowed define the standard for tracking and transferring NFTs, interconnected within the blockchain and today is mainly used for NFT issuance. In short, a small revolution.

authenticity guarantee

Once the gap was opened, the artists did not stop rushing into it. We cannot speak of a new art form: for more than 20 years, many artists have been using data storage and digital possibilities to develop their projects. But now they have found a way to monetize your creations and above all to guarantee its authenticity, a true blessing when you know that the fight against counterfeits is centuries old with traditional art, and until recently it was unimaginable in the digital realm where content can be copied and pasted so easily.

From an album that only appears during certain hours of the day, to other works that interact with other sources of stimuli, or to new musical productions and collaborations.NFTs reflect a complete artistic universe, worthy of the name with more or less success depending on the case.

mike winkelmann, whose stage name is none other than Beeple, is a person whose digital success is indisputable. Mike has a degree in computer science and has been the author of concert footage for A. Grande, J. Bieber, K. Perry and many more for many years.



Come to think of it, if the Mona Lisa were to multiply around the world, the Louvre’s millions of annual visitors would save money, but admit the allure would no longer be there…

He has also worked for brands such as Apple, Nike, Vuitton or Samsung. Two months after his first NFT investigation, he puts some works up for sale and raises $3.5 million in one weekend! But the project that made headlines, ‘Everyday’ was to create an image every day and post it online, which he did continuously for 13 years! ‘Every day, the first 5,000 days’, a digital collage that compiles the first 5,000 creations of this project received $69.3 million in March 2021. A record: the third for a living artist and the first for an NFT.

NFT and traditional art

Such success logically leaves no one indifferent, so much so that a recent NFT exhibition represented very real works. Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Raphael, Florence’s famous Uffizi Gallery on the left scan multiple masterpieces whose reproductions have sometimes been sold for more than 100,000 euros.

And here a fundamental ethical question arises: Is it done by looking at a painting? Come to think of it, if the Mona Lisa were to multiply around the world, the Louvre’s millions of annual visitors would save money, but admit the allure would no longer be there… And the reality is perilously close to this scenario. . Take for example Picasso’s ‘Girl in a Beret’, bought for $2.5 million and sold as an NFT by a Swiss bank last year in installments of 5,000 Swiss francs for a total of 4 million, a 50% capital gain for the bank. The painting will spend the rest of its days in a high security facility waiting to be loaned to museums…

leonel henry
Senior Wealth Manager Nagelmackers

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