My friend Seth is an entrepreneur and an artist. I have two of his paintings hanging in my office in NYC. His latest work is taking photographs of the sunset every day at Venice Beach and then training an AI model to turn it into a 30 second video. The work is published in a MP4 video. Therein lies the challenge. Anyone can copy an MP4 video so how does he make this work unique?
He turns it into a “non fungible token” or NFT.
I have written about NFTs a lot here at AVC over the years, most recently on how our portfolio company Dapper has used them to invent a new kind of basketball trading card.
But NFTs are also a very powerful tool for digital artists to bring scarcity/uniqueness to their work. And we are seeing a fair bit of activity starting to happen in and around digital art and NFTs.
Seth minted an NFT of his work and listed it for sale yesterday and then tweeted this out:
I saw that tweet and placed a bid on it this morning. If you would like to do the same, you can do that here (you will need a Metamask wallet holding Ethereum).
There is still some geekiness/wonkiness about digital art NFTs (like needing a Metamask wallet and Ethereum) and I expect that will go away in short order and the experience of buying NFT art will be more like the experience of buying a rare Luka Doncic Holo MMMX card on Top Shot which requires none of that.
Crypto technology has many uses and is absolutely not limited to speculating on meme coins. In fact, the emergence of real utility (vs speculation) is the single most important thing that needs to happen for crypto to live up to its potential (and current market values). I think NFTs and digital art is likely to be an early example of that utility emerging.