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NFTs and Crypto: Blockchain Team Up with Generative Art

By Dick Weisinger

Computer-generated art isn’t new. Abstract, geometric, and fractal artwork has been widely created since the early days of personal computers. What’s new now is the use of blockchain to lock down and verify the unique ownership of electronic artworks.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are electronic records that verify the ownership of virtual goods. NFTs provide a way to distinguish between true ownership to the ‘original’ versus simply having a digital copy obtained by internet download. NFTs provide the framework to create a marketplace that tracks the buying and selling transactions of digital assets.

But NFTs offer additional capabilities beyond just ownership. They can function like tickets or membership cards. NFTs can act like a key that can grant access to additional functionality and that enables the creation of NFT communities and ecosystems where members can engage with each other.

Leeor Shimron, head of strategic parnerships at Kraken, wrote that “ultimately, the forms and types of art that are produced and highly coveted signals the fundamental values of a society. Calcifying around values of community-building, inclusion, and mimetic culture, blockchain-based NFT generative art has usurped the traditional art market in its ability to draw attention and capture the imagination of a global audience. The NFT art community has accomplished this by building an internet-native global community of avid fans, creators, and collectors that do not take themselves too seriously and prioritize fun and connection over physical material possessions.”

Steve Kaczynski, NFT collector, and Scott Kominers, Harvard professor, wrote for HBR that “NFTs enable new markets by allowing people to create and build upon new forms of ownership. These projects succeed by leveraging a core dynamic of crypto: A token’s worth comes from users’ shared agreement — and this means that the community one builds around NFTs quite literally creates those NFTs’ underlying value. And the more these communities increase engagement and become part of people’s personal identities, the more that value is reinforced.”

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