Hi Everyone! Crypto Northerner here – this Ride the Hype? series aims to summarize key industry sales, sentiment and eco-system drivers in the digital art space, largely focused around the main absolute USD and volume sales across the industry.

As the crypto-art scene evolves, Crypto Northerner felt the time was right to speak further towards the narrative from “Ride the Hype?” Part One.

As with all Crypto Northerner’s editorials – he simply aims to shine a light on the key developing crypto-art trends and narratives – give him a follow @Crypto_Northern on Twitter or on @Makersplace. This is all fun after-all.

The crypto-art value proposition is becoming tiered – with experienced, blockbuster Tier 1 deliveries being brought to market, not just by the artist themself but by backed, “behind the scenes” capital investors, technologists, teams of dedicated resources, marketeers, social influencers and established music artists.

2020 started tepidly, rose to a simmer and ended the year in a blazing fire, with blockbuster crypto digital artistry coupled with the social media hype the community loves.

The quality of the artwork, the digitization of themes, the bridge between physical and digital, between music and visuals has been taken to a new level – the crypto art scene is organically enriching itself as competition thrives, marketing teams enhance the final touches to the artist’s work and the delivery is a full package of visual and audio creations in an attempt to satisfy the insatiable collector.

Crypto-art is bullish, with the boundaries being pushed further, the bar set higher – multi-layered, animated, incentivizing the buyers with physical world bonus comps, access to music events, airdrops, physical tokens, and even hair samples….

Meanwhile the price of bitcoin reaches new highs, feeding the crypto-art development teams, curators and platforms – bitcoin is bullish and the crypto-art party continues. 2021 will undoubtedly be massive.

Blockbuster Crypto-Art to end 2020.

“Chroma” by SSx3LAU
“Traffic” by SSx3LAU
“The Great Battle for Mankind” by Jose Delbo
“In Titan’s Light” by Deadmau5 x Sutu
“Rebirth of Venus” by lilmiquela
“Fisherman” by Steven Baltay
“Bull Run” by Beeple

Blockbuster value proposition and the beginnings of the Secondary Market

The value proposition is becoming tiered – with experienced, blockbuster Tier 1 deliveries being brought to market, not just by the artist him/herself but by backed, “behind the scenes” capital investors, technologists, teams of dedicated resources, marketeers, social influencers and established music artists. Minting and uploading a gif file, despite it being visually stimulating, has been outclassed by a blockbuster team, bringing and co-ordinating their component expertise together, who see the dollar incentive in delivering a full soup to nuts package to the market. The numbers have been stellar – $3M USD drop for @beeple, $1.3M USD for @Pak x @trevorjonesart, and drop after drop of “sell-out-in-minutes” open editions, and limited editions. The trend is exponential off such a nascent base, and sets the scene for the beginnings of a new market – the Secondary Sale Market, which is yet to fully take off – but will soon boom in 2021.

If @beeple sells his artwork for a US$1 – you know he is giving it away to his follower base – who then go on to sell/flip that for a few hundred, and in cases thousands of dollars to those who missed the click – the secondary market is coming, and it will grow exponentially as super-normal profits pull in more buyers, more collectors, more flippers and more investors. As with any good that is traded, the higher the volumes, the more secondary transactions, the more an artist can “clip that commission” ticket, earn passive income – and the positive feedback crypto-art loop continues – with all participants having their feed. At some point however the speed of growth becomes unsustainable – prices become too high, and the market re-adjusts and focuses back on the primary driver – the attraction of art.

Artists and their teams are covering as much of the collector base as possible with relatively lower price points on non-animated pieces, which moves through the range towards limited edition medium level price points, and onto the 1/1 rare edition, higher price point auctions with the accompanying physical artwork. @skygolpe’s “The History of the Future – Permanent Loss” and @SSx3Lau “The Array Collection – Prism” remain popular amongst collectors in terms of the secondary market. Slime Sunday’s @grimemonday’sThe Last Stand” has also topped @niftygateway ’s charts. Another favourite of mine is @adampriesterart “Hallow”.

The ‘scarcity’ philosophy has gone head-to–head with the full broad package art supply approach to fulfil the feeding frenzied insatiable collector base. Bids are getting higher and attracting more investors from the traditional crypto world – @Tyler Winklevoss and @GoingParabolic Jason A. Williams placed the initial large bids on the @beeple finale – only for them to be dwarfed by  @MetaKovan and @illestrater_ .Debate remains on what is considered a ‘cash grab” – minting the same central base material from different perspectives vs scaling out varied and very different artworks – the community will soon decide what is considered a better value proposition. The debate has already started.

“Prism” by SSx3LAU
“Permanent Loss” by Skygolpe
“A Science Fiction Story” by Numer041
“A Call to Arms” by Jose Delbo
Varied, rare 1/1 artwork by Beeple

So what’s the outlook for crypto art?

As long as blockchain continues to grow, and more recently, towards the end of 2020, the narrative towards bitcoin and blockchain has changed for the better – the better the growth prospects for crypto-art. Developer alt-coin teams have adapted through the bear market, protocols have been upgraded from the ground up, and being delivered as simply as possible for the end-user. The investor base has slowly grown with interest into crypto from traditional finance and regulators. Investing a % of a portfolio into bitcoin/alts can only push prices higher as it becomes an asset viable within institutional portfolios. Rising tides floats all boats so the saying goes – the alt protocol market will follow. This is key – as the capital foundations need to remain for crypto-art to continue to grow alongside one of its key growth drivers.

On the back of this, there is clear growth in the vehicles or marketplaces to display the art – MOCA – @museumofcrypto, @naturalwarp, @GalleryofCrypto, @crytovoxels, @somniumspace, @decentraland, @whale_community are becoming growth areas within themselves, with a growing sub-set of art-based eco-systems currently being built – but yet to be fully monetized. 2021 will see growth in the monetization of these digital crypto-art related business models.

Similar to a traditional finance online eco-system such as a Tencent or Baidu in China, Alphabet or Facebook in the US – their eco-systems, platforms and inter-related businesses are vast – yet linked, with varying levels of monetization. The crypto-art scene has these faceted sub-sectors and growing business models. 2021 is likely to see growth and further monetization in some of these sub-eco-systems. The growth of virtual marketplaces, exhibitions, subscription-only access to art shows, content and experiences, music with visual art, concerts and likely a massively hyped, high quality, high delivery, in and out, focused art experience from the same blockbuster artists of 2020 – but likely better!

The future is as bright and colourful as the art scene can make it. Younger, less experienced artists, without the teams of dedicated resources should respect the bigger fish that have entered the market, and not feel too despondent, for they themselves had the vision to enter the scene and take on the competition. Yes, the supernormal profits are now being directed towards the big hitters, some will leave the industry, but others will collaborate, use their time wisely and focus on what makes their art standout, learn new techniques, learn new marketing avenues, learn to be efficient and impactful.

2021 is showing signs of a continuing crypto bull market, albeit likely to remain volatile. Crypto-art is building the eco-system foundations, monetizing sections piece by piece, value is being created, alongside the large-scale cash-grabs. The Secondary Sales Market is showing signs of building blocks, with some crypto-art platforms encouraging and marketing this area more than others. You can even now buy a tweet as an NFT. 2021 will be eventful, twitter will light up with “insane” tweets, bitcoin will smash higher, and collapse lower, and beeple will grow his hair back. Have fun all and look forward to what 2021 has to bring.

Socials – Superrare / Makersplace / Nifty Gateway: Crypto Northerner

ETH address: 0x13e49cd3f314188032bed445a2f3de55f3669110

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