Introduction to Crypto Art and 5 Popular Brokers That Will Sell Your Digital Creations

By December 25, 2019 DApps
Click here to view original web page at coincodex.com

While the physical art realm often generates controversy thanks to exorbitant prices being paid for artwork (a prime example is the duct-taped banana in Miami that was recently sold for $120,000), there is an emerging art scene that grows by the minute focusing on digital art, and more specifically on crypto art.

Crypto art pieces are essentially digital art that is registered and distributed through the help of blockchains. That's only possible thanks to technologies such as Ethereum's ERC-721 Non-Fungible Token Standard and ERC-1155 standard. These items are commonly referred to as NFTs (non-fungible tokens). You can read more about ERC-721 and other popular Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) in our previous article.

How is that different from gettyimages, shutterstock or giphy?

In opposition to traditional digital art brokers, where the same digital piece can be re-sold infinitely to millions of users, NFTs are tokenized digital art pieces that have a fixed supply as determined by the creator.

In some cases, NFTs can be single items that can only be owned by a single web3 wallet at a time, giving them a scarcity similar to physical art.

At the same time, the fact that these ERC-721 deeds are part of the Ethereum blockchain creates a history associated with each crypto-art piece that can be investigated by future owners.

You can see if the piece you bought is original, how many copies are there scattered on the web, and who owns them, as well as information regarding how much it was originally sold for, and how the price per piece changed until it came under your ownership.

The purpose of crypto art

A crypto art piece's use-case can be as simple as it being an aesthetic collectible. It can also be used as decoration or piece of clothing in VR and digital realms such as Cryptovoxels and Decentraland.

Check out the new Louis Vox display at the Supreme Shop & Galleria in Midtown @cryptovoxels https://t.co/gMUYo0zvlu
#wearables #cryptogames pic.twitter.com/VV0srmEsjs

— Ambrose Lerma Jr. (@AmbroseLerma) December 8, 2019

There are different types of crypto art ranging from paintings, cyberpunk-inspired gifs, 3d objects, voxels, and AI-generated art, that can be sold for anything between Ξ0.01 and several hundred. (a card meant for usage in the Gods Unchained game sold for over Ξ100).

At the end of the day, it's art, and we all know that if a collector finds that one unique piece they were dreaming about, the price is no longer an obstacle.

From NFT to ETH in your wallet in a nutshell

Now, you've probably watched enough YouTube guides on how to handle your cracked version of Photoshop, and you think your latest gifs could enthuse some potential digital art collectors. Where do you start?

There is always the straightforward way of getting your own NFT directly on the Ethereum blockchain by programming your own ERC-721 smart-contract, or you can choose to roll with one of the many crypto-art brokers out there who make the whole process a walk in the park in exchange for a commission they will take when your digital masterpieces are being sold through their channels.

Since most of our readers probably don't know how to program a smart contract, let's take a look at some of the more realistic options.

1. SuperRare

SuperRare.co is one of the most popular tokenized digital art brokers in the sphere, offering hosting and distribution to single NFT pieces, hence the name Super Rare!

Another week, another record broken! Over 444 ETH (about $65,700 at today’s prices) in new placed bids & sales in the last 7 days! Replacing the previous record from 2 weeks ago of 401 ETH ????#DontSleepOnCryptoArt

— SuperRare ???? (@SuperRare_co) December 9, 2019

The platform has been home for some of the most popular crypto art pieces and crypt -artists including Coldie and BlackBox.art. Just by visiting the market page, and hitting that "has list price" button, you'll see infinite pieces of digital art being sold for anything between Ξ1 and well... Ξ13,000 (over $1 million).

SuperRare is considered as a high-end crypto-broker, where artists can be listed after an invite and an excessive interview with the founders, so don't be excited about it if you're planning to officially release your first piece of digital art as of now, considering that your portfolio and past works will be reviewed during the interview.

2. KnownOrigin

A more approachable marketplace for young crypto-artists would be KnownOrigin.io, where the listing process is much simpler and the prices associated with the artwork listed and sold on the platform are significantly lower compared to SR.

That's for a good reason, as KnownOrigin is not turning away multi-piece NFTs that might not be Super Rare in terms of scarcity, but they are equally unique aesthetic-wise. Most SR artists are also listed on KO.

Overall Known Origin might not be the Louvre of crypto art, but it can be considered as the IKEA of NFTs, where you get to fill your cart with tons of cheap-ish crypto-collectibles to decorate your Cryptovoxels parcel.

Nevertheless, KO has also listed some 1 of 1 pieces over time, and in the end, it's up to you whether you want to use different brokers simultaneously or trust an all-in-one broker to handle your artworks.

3. MintBase

Probably the most popular NFT platform both for beginners and pro crypto-artists, MintBase allows you to mint your own custom made NFT smart contracts as easily as creating a Facebook profile.

Mintbase.io is not only uniquely user-friendly when compared to the previously mentioned brokers, but it also enables you to tokenize your physical artworks, and or products using various native Mintbase tools.

With any ERC-721 compatible Web3 wallet, Mintbase allows you to create smart-contracts, mint NFTs, allowing you to instantly register them on OpenSea (reviewed later in this article), and in general, has a decent UI that allows you to manage your digital assets in one place.

One more good reason to love Mintbase is the fact that it's one of the few physical businesses that have a digital HQ in the Cryptovoxels metaverse.

4. MakersPlace

MakersPlace.com can be characterized as the "Instagram" of the crypto art world. It is a mix of the above utility-wise, and it allows artists and collectors to interact with each other in a social media-like fashion.

MP allows both single-unit and limited edition NFTs on its platform, and the prices are not as 'to-the-moon' as observed with SuperRare. In fact, if you're not familiar with DLTs and you stepped on MakersPlace, you'd consider it as a regular broker similar to traditional digital art brokers and not a crypto art base.

Prices on MP can range from 0.01 Ξ to several Ξ. As always, you'll be able to find some overpriced pieces that will be probably hanging there for quite some time.

Similar to MintBase, MakersPlace allows you to preview and showcase your collected art to your friends and other artists.

5. OpenSea

Last, but certainly not least, OpenSea.io is one of the most used marketplaces for crypto art, collectibles, wearables, trading cards, and pretty much anything else you can imagine that runs on the Ethereum blockchain.

If you're a familiar gamer, the best way to describe OpenSea is to compare it to Valve's Steam Marketplace. On OpenSea, literally anyone can buy, host, sell, and trade digital assets coming from a variety of parallel DApps.

While OpenSea is mostly a second-hand market for NFT goods, regardless of their platform of origin, there are many original pieces hosted on it. Also, in opposition to the previously mentioned platforms which are working strictly with NFTs (ERC-721), OpenSea recently introduced support for ERC-1155 multi-tokens made popular by the Enjin ecosystem.

Furthermore, OpenSea recently announced a partnership with TerraVirtua and Hollywood's Paramount Pictures, to tokenize various 'Godfather' collectibles through the OS marketplace.

@terra_virtua brings Hollywood to the blockchain this week! We are releasing a limited run of 'The Godfather' collectibles! This rare set of Paramount #NFTs will be on sale on Thursday, only available on @opensea! #NFT #digitalcollectibles #collectibles #blockchain #terravirtua pic.twitter.com/jbHnUFlDmk

— Terra Virtua (@terra_virtua) December 3, 2019

Sometimes, NFTs are strictly sold through OpenSea or are registered to its platform after being minted on Mintbase or an analogous operator. From second-hand Gods Unchained cards to Decentraland virtual land parcels and Cryptovoxels wearables, OpenSea is an ocean of NFTs that would take months to explore fully.

Similar to most of the previous brokers, OpenSea will allow you to sell your NFT for a fixed price via a bidding system or a name-your-price auction. Unsold items can be promoted through the discount mechanism the platform offers, and in some cases, you could trade NFTs in a cross-platform fashion. For example, you can trade your Crypto Kitty for a sword that is wearable in Cryptovoxels.

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