Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have seen a boom in the last few months and artists like Grimes and Kings of Leon are getting in on the action. Fans are lining up to buy millions worth of digital art and now even whole albums.
NFTs are cryptographically secure collectibles that trade on a blockchain. Their value derives from their verified authenticity. The crypto collectible could be anything worth buying. The most popular items so far are digital artworks.
Much like having an original Picasso, the NFT is the sought-after signature. It indicates that this is an original piece from the artist and not just a copy downloaded off the internet.
The NFT market has become a booming success just within the first few months of 2021. Fans are putting down some serious money to own an original work from their favorite musicians, even if it’s not music.
Celebrity Artists Push NFT sales
Grimes recently sold her tokenized digital art for $6 million. A few of the pieces were short animations set to her unreleased music. Most of the art was still images that fans of the musician eagerly paid out for.
Soon Kings of Leon will become the first band to release an entirely new album as an NFT, without releasing non-tokenized versions first.
It’s not just the alternate-music scene that is in on the action either. Popstar Shawn Mendes collaborated with animators Genies and NFT marketplace OpenSea to launch a line of animations of his signature accessories. These little digital figurines are selling from 0.32 ETH to 100 ETH.
Some fans are so excited about the NFT market they take the artwork there themselves. In a recent move to express their enthusiasm and belief in the value of NFTs, a group of NFT fans bought an artwork by the street-artist Banksy before burning it during a live stream and replacing it with a digitized NFT.
Biggest Sale on Record
The biggest NFT sale so far happened at the end of February. A London-based EDM DJ, Justin Blau, whose stage name is 3LAU, sold 33 NFTs to mark his Ultraviolet album’s anniversary. The auction totaled $11.7 million. This auction was the first time a tokenized album was launched.
The NFTs were all different, with each priced depending on what they included. The most expensive token was a bundle of a custom song, access to new music on his website, custom art based on his music, and new versions of the album’s original songs.
More artist involvement in NFTs will continue to drive mainstream interest and participation as more fan bases step into the marketplace.