NFT virtual rhino horn shakes up the art market

A digital copy of a rhino horn has been auctioned for 6000 euros in South Africa. Conservationists are using NFT craze to raise funds to protect the right rhinos. The digital copy of the horn is well connected to a physical and genuine horn, stored in a safe place.

NFTs (Non Fungible Token) are virtual tokens that allow the sale of works that are broadcast on the Internet. They justify the possession of a good and its authenticity, that is, it is in fact the original creation and not a copy. By acquiring these tokens, buyers become their sole owner.

In the first quarter of 2021 alone, sales of NFT art are reported to have peaked at $ 2.2 billion. How do you explain such success in the sector?

When we say we are creating an NFT, we register an identity card for the artwork in the blockchain. The advantage is that when you write a transaction in this blockchain, it never disappears.

Albertine Meunier, artist and collector of NFT

A secure ownership pledge for the collector

Cape Town businessman Charl Jacobs, the lucky buyer of the horn, shares his confidence in this new purchase. “At worst, if the rhino situation ever got really bad, I would still own a rhino horn because NFT is a sign of the physical rhino horn“Why is NFT so safe?

Albertine Meunier, herself an artist and collector of NFT, explains us. “In the case of the rhino horn, the collector has acquired two things: the physical work and the certificate of ownership, NFT

Review: Cryptocurrencies in the art market

In fact, NFTs are deeds that confirm that we are the owners of a unique digital asset, an image, a GIF, a 3D animation. NFTs are registered in a decentralized and secure data sharing register, blockchain.

When we say we are creating an NFT, we register an identity card for the artwork in the blockchain. The advantage is that when you write a transaction in this blockchain, it never disappears. A paper is lost, an NFT is not lost “ adds Albertine Meunier. And that’s where the specificity lies.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a technology that enables its users – connected in a network – to share data without an intermediary (bank, company or other). It is a single transaction register that is decentralized, transparent and tamper-proof.

NFTs, deeds, are based on blockchain technology. This technology allows them to take advantage of its traceability and its tamper-proof aspect.

Sir. Ahren Posthumus, director of Monmint, the marketing firm behind the sale of the first NFT rhino, explains the specifics of the blockchain. she”is not controlled by any government, company or entity. It’s completely free, open and transparent, and it’s run by people all over the world. This is a real community. What is truly powerful is that it is inviolable and unchangeable. “

It’s not like you’re selling your rhino horn during wrapping, you do not know who bought it or what happened to it.

Albertine Meunier, artist and collector of NFT

Better traceability of the work

Review of blockchain makes it possible to follow the history of the work, even after selling it. Anyone can verify who owns an NFT directly on the blockchain. All transactions made are visible to everyone.

“Sassume that the rhino horn has been sold to another collector, then the transaction can be traced “, explains Albertine Meunier. “It’s not like you’re selling your rhino horn under the hood, you do not know who bought it or what’s going on with it.” You know when it’s a copy because there’s a story.

Guarantees the tamper-proof nature of the work

Just as one work of art cannot be replaced by another, NFTs are not interchangeable because they are signed.

That’s what Albertine Meunier explains to us. “A physical good is connected with a digital good. The physical object, the physical horn, must be engraved with the signature of the NFT. Otherwise, they are separable. “

The signature allows you to show that you are the sole owner. It is the same in the market of classical art. A copy of the Mona Lisa does not have much value, it is the consensus and signature of Leonardo Da Vinci that brings value to the original.

With NFTs, you do not have to work with gallerists and institutions. You are in direct contact with your collectors, those who buy the work

Albertine Meunier, artist and collector of NFT

A decentralization of the market for the benefit of artists

Going through an NFT platform allows artists to work directly with collectors and buyers. “When you are an artist, you wait for the gallery, you wait for the exhibition, you receive only a percentage of only 50%. You are addictedAlbertine explains to us.

It turns out that NFT platforms make it possible to decentralize exchanges. “With NFTs, you do not have to work with gallerists and institutions. You are in direct contact with your collectors, those who buy the work. “

NFT platforms take a much lower commission from artists than gallery owners and institutions. “Selling a work on an NFT platform will only take 5 to 10% of your earnings. No gallery, no institution does that.

Thanks to the blockchain, Albertine Meunier was able to reinvest in the purchase of digital works and become a collector. These new forms of exchange may well revolutionize the art market in the years to come. But NFT does not only apply to contemporary art. It is used in video games, in the metaverse. It is possible to keep part of the metaverse, in the form of NFT.

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