NFTs are taking the world of art and creativity by storm. The latest iteration comes from the most advanced robot out there, Sophia The Robot, who just raised a total of $ 1.7 million at a public auction selling her digital artwork.
On March 23rd, the auction for the 12 seconds video "Sophia Instantiation" was purchased by NFT collector _888_ for $688.888. The digital artwork is a “self-portrait” video-file showing the transformation of Andrea Bonaceto’s portrait into Sophia’s digital painting. The minted clip portrays Sophia crafting a portrait of her own face which was then processed by the robot’s neural networks.
Following the sale of the self-portrait, the buyer tweeted “I have goosebumps.” Sophia replied to the tweet, saying: “Me too, we really had a connection.” Having added that the artist’s “work was very inspiring on so many levels, so I want to hold on to its meaning a little longer. Will share soon.”
That artwork was part of Sophia the Robot's NFT Digital Artworks series, and it wasn't the only one that was successful at auction. In fact, the best selling series was the "Marcello Portrait" which sold 66 copies at $1,500 each. One of the editions of the portrait is currently on sale for over 12mln USD.
What really stood out from this auction is that all this artwork series was that each piece was linked to a unique NFT (Non-fungible token).
As it was recently said in an intellignthq article about Digital art and NFTs, “Non-fungible tokens – NFTs are scarce digital cryptographic assets. This means that NFTs are unique digital assets that run on the same technology (blockchains) as cryptocurrency but are fundamentally different.”
A good example to picture how NFT works is the Ticket Analogy: each ticket – NFT contains specific information including the purchaser’s name, the date of the event and the venue, which makes it impossible for tickets to be traded with one another.
NFTs can bring real benefits to creators and artists. They can be designed to pay their creators a cryptocurrency fee every time they change hands. If for example a buyer of NFT of the creator’s pieces resells it, the creator automatically receives 10 percent of the price paid. The lack of digital scarcity in the creator economy is one of the main reasons people have slowly but surely been gravitating to NFTs as a possible solution. And in recent months, that interest grew exponentially.
On March, 11th, the artwork “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” by creator Beeple was sold for $69.3 million at a Christie's auction, becoming the highest sale of NFT art till date. This sale surpassed CEO Dylan Field’s CryptoPunk for 4200 ETH (about $7.5 million) and Billionaire Jack Dorsey’s NFT converted tweet “just setting up my twttr,” which while still open, already has a high bid of $2.5 million from Sina Estavi, CEO of Bridge Oracle.
Another noteworthy initiative in the NFT space that harnesses the true potentiality of the technology is the Hashmasks project. This is a living digital art collectible created by over 70 artists globally that sold its collection of 16,384 unique digital portraits for $16 million. The most expensive Hashmask was sold for 420 ETH, or $650,000, and features a mystical halo demon that may or may not make it the deal with the devil.
According to specialized site Vice, “these Hashmasks are unique as compared to other NFT artworks, or even real paintings, since they are unnamed. Each Hashmask owner has the responsibility of naming their art, thus contributing to it creatively. Hashmasks are sold in the open market, and also allow the buyer as well as the creator to determine its value.”
Other artists from the creative industries that are using NFTs are Kings of Leon, who launched an album as NFT and Basketball collectives; Grimes, a Canadian musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, music video director, and visual artist, who sold around $5.8 million worth of digital artworks, and a series of 10 pieces went up for sale on Nifty Gateway on February 28th, or Blake Kathryn, Giant Swan and Dream Catcher Auction by Steve Aoki x Antoni Tudisco, among others.
These sales are the latest art-related NFT that has sparked a craze across Wall Street and multiple markets such as sports and music in the past few months. From a digital copy of a Banksy print being burned to magazine covers, NFTs are ushering a new domain of buying, selling and trading.
NFTs can radically change the way art is created and distributed, making it a fairer sector for creators. Although still in its infancy, digital arts NFTs and other crypto collectives have exploded and the growth potential is still off the charts.
Talking about the potentiality of the technology, Andrea Bonaceto, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and blockchain pioneer commented: “NFTs will act as a catalyst to help society achieve the ideal balance between creativity and rationality. This could be the dawn of a new Renaissance, springing straight after a global pandemic – reminiscent of the 15th century Renaissance that arose in the immediate aftermath of the plague. NFTs are for the creative industry what Bitcoin is for the financial industry - a paradigm shift. It is very exciting to be at the cusp of this new trend.”