How NFTs Are Transforming China’s Art Market from wisepowder's blog

How NFTs Are Transforming China’s Art Market

Virtual Niche: Have You Ever Seen Memes in the Mirror?” had everything you’d expect from the world’s first major crypto art exhibition.Entering a dimly lit gallery, visitors found collages of anarchic buzzwords; a selection of works by superstar artist Beeple; as well as a recreation of Robert Alice’s “Portrait of a Mind” — the first crypto artwork sold by British auction house Christie’s.To get more china art news, you can visit shine news official website.

The only surprise was the location. The show, which ran from March 26 to April 4, didn’t take place in New York or London, but at the UCCA Center of Contemporary Art in central Beijing.The hype surrounding crypto art — digital artworks stored on a blockchain as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — has been exploding in the West this year.

In the past, digital art was hard to monetize, as it’s hard to establish ownership over items that are so easily reproducible. But by minting an NFT, creators can make their work fully traceable — and that has quickly turned all kinds of digital assets into collectibles.

Buyers are spending eye-watering sums to acquire NFTs of everything from cat memes to Beeple’s digital collage “5,000 Days,” which sold for $69 million at a Christie’s auction in March.

Now, China is jumping on the bandwagon. The country has been slower to embrace the brave new world of NFTs — not least because the Chinese government imposes tight restrictions on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which are often used to buy the tokens. But the new market is starting to gain momentum.

Interest in crypto art is picking up among China-based investors, with “Virtual Niche” adding to the buzz. Meanwhile, a new generation of digital-savvy Chinese creators is emerging, and taking the nascent genre in new directions. The NFT concept first started to spread in China in 2018, during a breakout moment for the crypto movement. CryptoKitties — a game in which players breed and trade limited-edition virtual pets — had become wildly popular around the world, and Chinese netizens also started creating their own blockchain-based felines.

At the time, however, China’s own crypto community was still reeling from a sweeping crackdown on cryptocurrencies launched the previous year. Beijing had shut down China-based exchanges, banned fundraising through initial coin offerings, and begun restricting some cryptocurrency mining projects.The bans were a huge setback for the movement. The Chinese share of Bitcoin transactions — which had previously been as high as 90% — plummeted, the talent pool of developers stagnated, and investors were spooked. Even now, pouring cash into NFTs appears a risky prospect to many in China, insiders caution.

“It’s still some way from becoming popular or mainstream,” says Celyn Bricker, a crypto artist who took part in “Virtual Niche.” “Regulations on crypto make the whole thing more complex in China, and raise questions about how popular it is possible for it to become.”

But in China, even a niche can become a large market. Though no longer dominant, Chinese traders still play a major role in the Bitcoin market by using foreign exchanges — and they’re increasingly excited about the potential for NFTs, Bricker says. There are also signs the hype is spreading beyond the cryptocurrency community.

“There’s a group of people with tech, finance, and art backgrounds all suddenly scrabbling to get involved,” says Bricker. “But it’s hard to put a figure on the growth of NFTs in China, since it’s all relatively new.”

One high-profile early backer of NFTs has been Jehan Chu, a Hong Kong-based art collector and blockchain investor. The former Sotheby’s adviser has acquired crypto artworks by Robert Alice, placed bids on works by Beeple, and has even purchased the domain extension .nft.

Previous post     
     Next post
     Blog home

The Wall

No comments
You need to sign in to comment


By wisepowder
Added May 11 '21


Your rate:
Total: (0 rates)