NFTs, a highly speculative and nebulous market

In nine months, the NFT market has reached 3.1 billion euros, more than half of the sales are funny vignettes drawn by software. Beeple, Everyday: The First 5000 days , 2021. 21,069 x 21,069 pixels © Christie's Images Ltd 2021 The NFT market is exploding. According to a report commissioned by the Hiscox company, it would have reached 3.5 billion dollars (3.1 billion €) at the end of September while it was still confidential last year. The artistic community suddenly became aware of the phenomenon when a digital work, accompanied by an NFT, by artist Michael Winkelmann alias Beeple , Everyday: The First 5 000 Days was sold by Christie's New York $ 69,3 million (€ 61 million) in March. However, the NFT market is made up of digital works of art like that of Beeple. These are even in the minority, as the market is occupied for more than half by digital thumbnails, largely generated by software, the best known of which are called CryptoPunks, CryptoKitties, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). CryptoPunks, for example, launched by two computer scientists under the entity Lavar Labs are a collection of 10,000 pixelated face designs in the style of old game consoles, each face being certified different from the others, some more characteristically and more comical than others. These stickers and their NFT certificate can be bought and sold on the Lavar Labs platform, and anyone can follow the transactions. Every day, like the children exchanging Panini stickers of football players in the schoolyard, around thirty Punk stickers are exchanged. But here, exchanges are not free; transactions are expensive, very expensive. Punk # 3100 was sold for 4,200 ethereum, or $ 7.6 million [!] Last March. And at the time of this writing, the buyer "nft618.eth" - that's his nickname - sold "vault punksotc" the Punk 64444 (a bearded Punk) for the sum of 100 ethereum, or 425 190 dollars, which "vault.punksotc" immediately put it on sale for 114.95 ethereum, or 488,756 dollars and an increase of 15% in a few minutes ... The disrupted art market Are these Punks faces and other monkey designs (BAYC) works of art? This is what the auction houses who have entered this market want to believe and have auctioned some of these stickers. Sotheby's thus auctioned a lot of one hundred and one NFT of drawings of anthropomorphized monkeys for the sum of 21.5 million euros in September. This mix of genres between digital works of art and thumbnails, NFT sales platforms, and major auction houses contributes to blurring the usual benchmarks of the art market. And this is just the beginning; Art Basel Miami will open, in its edition next December, a space for the presentation of digital works of art certified by an NFT. Classic galleries view this new market with caution. In Paris, the Goldshteyn Saatort gallery which recently opened on rue Verneuil, exhibiting street art, will now permanently present digital works. A confusion is also fueled by the arrival of "institutional" actors. The British Museum and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg have started to market digital reproductions of physical works from their collection as NFTs, while artist Damien Hirst has put up for sale 10,000 of his "spots paintings" (small formats) in the form of NFT. Read in Le Journal des arts, Jean-Chritophe Castelain

NFTs, a highly speculative and nebulous market

In nine months, the NFT market has reached 3.1 billion euros, more than half of the sales are funny vignettes drawn by software. Beeple,...