Jason Bailey has gone down the rabbit hole into Crypto-art, where digital art works and the blockchain have merged to create unique digital images that can be traded.
The community he found at the Rare Digital Art Festival may not be everyone’s idea of an artistic community. These creators have coalesced around their fascination with depicting the internet meme, Pepe the Frog (yes, that Pepe; but, no, it’s not what you think.) But they’ve married it to the blockchain and created a marketplace that sold $100,000 worth of Crypto-art earlier this month:
Anyone can create a Rare Pepe, submit it for inclusion, and offer as many copies as they want for sale and at any price they want to sell it. And they are now selling for tens of thousands of dollars. At the Rare Digital Art festival in NYC last weekend, Homer Pepe, a one-of-one Rare Pepe CryptoArtwork broke a record in a live auction selling for $39k USD (350k in Pepe Cash). In less than an hour the auction cleared ~$100k in CryptoArt.
Whether the first Rare Digital Art Festival auction was the beginning of a digital art marketplace or an anomaly where the crypto-rich played with notional money that appears to be more valuable than it really might be remains to be seen. Still, Bailey has uncovered something interesting here well worth watching.
What Is CryptoArt? (Artnome)