Video Of The Week: Digital Art On The Blockchain

About 3:15 into this video Chris Burniske asks an interesting question about how the CryptoKitties team thought about designing the kitties and the next ~four minutes are a revealing discussion about how blockchains may change the way digital art is created and sold in the future.


Comments (Archived):

  1. LIAD

    I think Chris inadvertently primed the pump by first telling the audience the kitties were human drawn but algo constructed, and then asking if they would have paid less if they were purely algorithmic. Had the audience not known I doubt the majority would have said yes.Personally I think art is valued by the effect it has on you and whether that’s made by a computer a French Renaissance master or a slug is immaterial.

    1. fredwilson

      That may be true but that is not the part I wanted to focus people on. The part that is interesting to me is the idea that art that is created natively in a blockchain system can be protected and sold in a way that has eluded digital art until now

      1. John Crain

        It’s interesting to think about and experiment with. Our first piece of art on SuperRare was an AI generated nude painting by artist Robbie Barrart,…. We thought that was pretty awesome.

        1. jason wright

          rare? if everyone has their unique kitty where’s the scarcity? is this new economics?

          1. chuck

            Not all kitties are created equal.

          2. jason wright

            identikitty.if the NFT is of an object and it is difficult to impossible to distinguish it from another very similar NFT object then where is the usefulness and value in that?

      2. Richard

        We all get the proof of concept. But why start with shitty kitties?

  2. jason wright

    how fat is that cat?is the Crypto Kitties blockchain ‘ledging’ the precise ‘biological’ characteristics of a kitty and then preventing another kitty from being independently created by another artist who happens to randomly choose the same characteristics? i don’t know how many cats there are on the planet but quite a few of them look to be just about exactly the same as each other. is this ledger only preventing the digital copying of a kitty and not the random sameness of two independently created kitties that look to be identical to the human eye (but are digitally not identical)?i can imagine the disappointment of digital art collectors/ investors when they come across a NFT work that is almost identical to their very expensively acquired NFT work. are they going to sue for infringement?Did Van Gogh paint with a view to how valuable his sunflowers would become? Did Escher? Are those that do truly artists?

    1. awaldstein

      Don’t get your point.Art traditionally is all about manufactured scarcity.And that extends to factory produced mass market pieces like those from Warhol.I actually consider crypto kitties a huge proof point for the ecosystem.

      1. jason wright

        blockchain works on the principle of independent nodes validating unique transactions on the network. a kitty can be digitally unique and validated, but by changing just one pixel another kitty can also be ‘unique’ and validated (i assume), but to the human eye both kitties are essentially the same in appearance. how is each valued, and which one is the more valuable? The first is purchased for $100,000 and the second for $10. How does the first achieve its valuation over the second in the market, and how does it retain its higher value?”…for the ecosystem” – the kitty ecosystem, or blockchain generally?

  3. LIAD

    Sure, but that’s yesterday’s news ;-)Did you see the ERC 721 soc net idea? So now not only can you own exclusive art digitally but ownership by extension can effectively grant you all manor of privileges and access rights.Previously the person had privileges attached to them, now the item does and the owner gains them by virtue of ownership. Another thing blockchains completely flipped on its head…

    1. LIAD

      Thinking about it, we’re living in the age of the return of bearer instruments. Kind of ironic.

    2. fredwilson

      i saw that but have not dug in and wrapped my head around it yet. i will.

  4. Randy Ayn

    I’m sorry but I could only watch half of this video. I cringed every time these guys talked about breeding their kitties.

    1. fredwilson

      which half did you watch?

  5. Alex Atallah

    Cross-game assets are one of the most exciting inventions in this space. They parallel existing patterns in successful video games. Now time spent playing games can pay off for you even after the game is done. This mitigates the “sunk cost” of playing games and gives rise to a new collectible-driven profit machine for players. See ChainMonsters’ post on incorporating CryptoKitties in their own game: