"Everyday-Lightshow" (2017) by Kevin Mak - Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong
Non-fungible tokens have slowly been making their way into the lexicon of the art world. But when digital artist Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” sold at a Christie’s auction for a record-breaking US$69 million in March 2021, it became clear that this “trend” was here to stay. Since then, NFTs (and the supporting cryptocurrencies and blockchain infrastructure) seem to have taken over the world.
When digital artist Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” sold at a Christie’s auction for a record-breaking US$69 million in March 2021, the NFTs “trend” was here to stay.
For those looking, here’s how to get involved.
A quick recap before we dive in: NFTs are non-fungible tokens—digital items that have a unique footprint and, therefore, can’t be copied. Built on blockchain technology, NFTs essentially guarantee ownership of an asset and offer a certificate of authenticity for the owner. Translation: this all preserves the monetary value of the NFT.
Buying Tokenized Digital Art
As an art curator, we at Bamboo Scenes are of course most interested in NFTs as they relate to the art world. For us, it’s a compelling world of digital art that offers many advantages to owners, buyers, and artists. But, of course, NFTs go way beyond art. In fact, they can come in a whole host of different forms, from collectibles and event tickets to music, games, identities, and domain names.
For us, it's a compelling world of digital art that offers many advantages to owners, buyers, and artists. NFTs go way beyond art.
Still, if you’re ready to get involved in the digital art world, here’s how to do it. There are two main methods, depending on if you want to be a buyer/owner or a creator/seller.
“Mong Kok Casualty” (2016) by Gideon de Kock - Mong Kok, Hong Kong
Another reminder: Before you buy or sell your first NFT, you’ll need to have usable cryptocurrencies and a digital wallet. Just keep in mind that not all cryptocurrencies are created equal, so to deal with NFTs, you need to have the cryptocurrency that is on the appropriate blockchain. Once you do this, just sign up for an account on your chosen NFT marketplace and connect it to your wallet. Then, you’re ready to browse, buy, mint NFTs, and list them for sale. Most NFT marketplaces allow you to buy and sell on a fixed price system, or by auction.
Here Are Our Favourite Marketplaces to Get Your NFTs
While you can certainly purchase NFTs directly from the artist, there is a growing community of third parties that are acting as brokers in the game. These include independent online platforms (read: NFT marketplaces), as well as traditional auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
'The Merge' by Artist Pseudonym Pak, NFT Art sold for US$91.8 million on Nifty Gateway
Owned by the Winkelvoss twins (yes, the same pair of brothers that were involved in the beginning of Facebook) Nifty Gateway offers a highly curated and exclusive selection of NFT artworks. And when we say exclusive, we mean it. The only sellers here are celebrated artists and musicians who have sold millions of dollars of art so far. Fancy owning an NFT by Steve Aoki, deadmau5, Grimes, or Kenny Scharf? This is your platform. Beeple’s “CROSSROADS” sold for US$6 million in February 2021.
'S*x' a Hashmask by Suum Cuique Labs art collective's 'Hashmask', NFT Art sold for 420 ETH, OpenSea
Consider this the eBay of the NFT world. OpenSea is the world’s first and largest NFT marketplace, which is why it’s so popular. The platform has thrown its arms wide open to the world of tokenization. This means that punters will find more than 34 million NFTs across a wealth of categories, from art and collectibles to virtual worlds, game items, and domain names. And, the platform is compatible with the Ethereum, Polygon, and Klatyn blockchains, giving you even more opportunities to jump aboard the NFT train.
Thinking about building NFTs into your investment portfolio (we love a bit of diversification!)? Then you’ll want to look into Rarible. Alongside its collection of digital art, Rarible deals in photography, music, domains, the metaverse, and games.
One of the reasons that Rarible is so unique is because of the partnerships it has created with major companies such as Twitter and famous celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan.
'Mantra' (2021) by Artist Cath Simard, NFT Art sold for ETH29.69 on SuperRare
Want to build a few connections alongside your NFT collection? SuperRare is a peer-to-peer marketplace that makes direct connections between artists and collectors. It’s still in its infancy, but we think this platform holds plenty of promise for the art world. Why? Because, just like Bamboo Scenes, it works with a select handful of artists who meet its stringent criteria and prioritises exclusive artworks like single edition pieces and one-of-a-kind pieces.
'And There You Came To Me' by Artist Vivien Liu, NFT Art sold for 1.07 ETH on Foundation
Full disclosure: We’re a little partial to Foundation, just because our artists Elaine Li and Vivien Liu are on the platform! And like Bamboo Scenes, the platform works hard to curate a collective of extremely talented artists, both up-and-comers and the well-known. The catch? Artists have to apply and present a portfolio of work to the Foundation team, who will make the ultimate decision on which artists make the cut. We love the fact that they want to “build a new creative economy” that prioritises artists and connections.
Choosing the Right Marketplace
Right now, your head’s probably swimming with dreams of NFT entrepreneurship. But if you’re getting ready to take the plunge, you should be asking yourself which marketplace to start with. Choosing from the smorgasbord of NFT marketplaces can be a daunting task—especially since the truth is, there’s no one correct answer. Your first stop? Decide what you’re interested in, how you’re going to use the platform, and what exactly you’re looking for.
While we love a bit of digital art, NFTs go far beyond this. Fancy yourself a sports fan who dreams of hitting the basketball courts like LeBron James and Steph Curry? Then you’ll want to try NBA Top Shot, which lets you collect and mint live game moments in digital form. Are you a visionary artist who wants to protect your works while being part of an exclusive marketplace? Then you might want to try Foundation or SuperRare. And, if you’re a dedicated gamer who wants to live life digitally in a gaming metaverse, Axie Infinity, or Sorare are just the ticket. For the casual browser, OpenSea, Rarible, and Mintable are great choices..
'A moment apart' by Artist Elaine Li, NFT Art sold for 1.00 ETH on Foundation
Still unsure of where and how to start? Take your time to browse several NFT marketplaces. This will help you get a sense of what each one offers, its price ranges, and how transactions are made. Then, decide what type of NFTs you’re looking for. This will help you identify the most relevant marketplace for you to begin with. While browsing, try and look for these details:
- What safeguards are in place to ensure legitimate transactions
- The required medium or media of exchange for your chosen NFT (this is usually a specific cryptocurrency)
- What fees are involved in transactions, and how much they are
- What other NFTs are available that you might be interested in
- How you will store the NFTs
- Resale ability for if and when you want to pass your NFT on
"Welcome, Neon" (2020) by Kevin Mak - Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
At Bamboo Scenes, we advocate being mindful about buying, investing in, and minting NFTs. That means doing your research, and being mindful that gas fees (another term for another day) can drive cost increases. Always go for something you believe in, and understand the artist and the story behind their work—at least, that’s the credo we stand by!
Do you want to learn more about our art? Check out the full Bamboo Scenes collection here!