“Art is not a thing, it is a way”, said the American writer Elbert Hubbard. For Bitcoin (BTC) artists, the way is inspired by Bitcoin, its code, its philosophy and its images. In some cases, it’s even inspired by memes. Bitcoin has become a “way of life” for some Bitcoin artists that inspires the way they do business, accept payments and interact with customers.
Cointelegraph asked Bitcoin artists what inspires them about Satoshi Nakamoto’s 13-year invention and whether minting a non-fungible token (NFT) would complement their “way” of making art. After all, an NFT is a unique digital receipt to prove ownership of a purchase living on a blockchain. Surely artists would like to demonstrate ownership of the art they worked hard for?
Lena, a Bitcoin artist who recently moved from Germany to crypto-friendly Dubai, began creating, painting, and printing Bitcoin artwork after diving into Bitcoin’s rabbit hole in 2018. her career in the cryptocurrency industry as a crypto-agnostic, Bitcoin changed its approach and eventually took over. She now runs a “maxi-style” Bitcoin wallet:
“My mindset changed and I started working on myself, wondering what to do with my life because of Bitcoin. Bitcoin has become like a way of life, so I should put all my savings into Bitcoin. “
When talking to people in the cryptocurrency community, she explains that she is a Bitcoin artist, to which cryptocurrency lovers ask “oh, so you do NFT?” She told Cointelegraph that she responds with, “No! Physical art!”
“OpenSea is full of art which is like not art – I mean, art always depends on the person, but it was too much for me.”
However, countless artists make their living by generating AI artworks and selling or minting them as NFTs on platforms like OpenSea. The biggest stories of 2021 involved collective cartoon chimpanzees – the Bored Ape Yacht Club – and CryptoPunks, additional digitally rendered images or artwork.
In the bear market of 2022, the hype around NFTs would have faded. However, big brands like Starbucks continue to climb the winner’s bandwagon, while luxury jeweler Tiffany caused a 1,700% increase in trading volume following an NFT move in August.
Asked if FractalEncrypt (an anonymous Bitcoin artist) would release an NFT of their art in the future, they told Cointelegraph: “Absolutely not.” FractalEncrypt carves large, massive and time-consuming Bitcoin full-node structures, which it has hidden in places around the world:
The sculpture of the full Bitcoin node, a cypherpunk chronometer.
# 5 of 10 was hand delivered yesterday and I wanted to compile a GIGA-THREAD by collecting photos, videos, explanations and podcasts in one place
Let’s go back in time and down the rabbit hole and see # 1 -4 pic.twitter.com/8IcGnl0tyE
– FractalEncrypt ∞ / 21M (@FractalEncrypt) March 29, 2021
“I created NFTs in 2017/18 and the more I investigated them, the more disillusioned I became. They inherently felt like scammers and if I continued down that path it would make me a scammer in my eyes.
FractalEncrypt explained that the link between the art and the token was “ephemeral at best and a true misrepresentation / fraud at worst”. They compare NFT issuance as similar to centralized company token issuance, which could be problematic and even controversial.
But that doesn’t mean FractalEncrypt canceled NFT technology in the beginning. Like Lena, the two artists were curious about Ethereum-based technology when it first arrived:
“An artist who issues an NFT token and sells it to others in the hope that they will appreciate it, puts the artist in a position to issue titles.”
In fact, Wikipedia explains that an NFT is a “financial security consisting of digital data stored in a blockchain”. The US Securities and Exchange Commission focuses on some crypto projects during the bear market. At the same time, the case between the SEC and Ripple (XRP) regarding the latter’s XRP token is raging.
BitcoinArt, which has chosen to remain anonymous, is among the few Bitcoin artists that Cointelegraph has spoken to who has also dived into the world of NFTs. He told Cointelegraph that he managed to sell a couple of NFTs of his Bitcoin-related artwork, but he didn’t like the medium or the concept:
“I took some great pictures of Bitcoin and wasn’t sure how to coin them and someone told me to coin on OpenSea, unfortunately they use ETH … But the good news is I sold my nft via Twitter for SAT and cut the half man out. I hate ETH.
A recurring theme at this point, BitcoinArt prefers to have one-on-one interactions with potential customers; he likes the hustle and bustle that comes from discussing works of art.
Lena also prefers the personal approach; she creates a connection with her clients and spends hours painstakingly drawing, painting and perfecting clients’ visions. In Lena’s words, the time devoted to her art is a reflection of the proof-of-work, the consensus mechanism underlying the Bitcoin protocol. You told Cointelegraph that the process of creating a work of art is unique and limited, just like Bitcoin, so you don’t need an NFT. Here Lena makes a statement with one of her pieces:
FractalEncrypt mocked the prescient “high time preference culture” in NFTs. In fact, many of the biggest CryptoPunks supporters quickly gave up their allegiance to BAYC before jumping to the next brilliant new collection.
Related: NFT art galleries: future of digital artwork or another crypto fashion?
Bitcoin, on the other hand, is a movement. Lena said: “Bitcoin has changed my way of thinking, Bitcoin has changed me, […learning about Bitcoin] it was a very, very significant chapter in my life ”.
Interestingly, a search for “Bitcoin NFT” on OpenSea yields more than 70,000 articles. For Lena, the door is still open: “NFTs may have use cases in the future, but the way NFTs are right now, doesn’t feel right,” she admitted. OpenSea has undergone hacks and wash trading, but the seven-figure pixelated image jpegs continue to sell. “It looks like a bubble,” sums up Lena.
In contrast, Bitcoin fell more than 50% from its sizzling highs of $ 69,000 and “tourists” have checked. Furthermore, bitcoins received as payment for a work of art will likely never be hacked or “emptied” from a wallet.