The starving artist has been a stereotype since humans could put ink to paper, but it seems that times have changed with the development of NFT's (Non-Fungible Tokens), allowing some artists to make millions in crypto currency. For those of you who are wondering exactly what an NFT is, they're digital assets that represent real-world objects such as art, music, videos, and even in-game items. NFT's can be sold online and are frequently done so using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, and are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos do.
NFT's gaining currency
NFT's have been around since 2014 but have only recently gained notoriety because of the increasing popularity and the staggering prices the NFT artworks have been sold for. Since 2017 over $174 million has been spent on works of NFT. However, a majority of NFT's that are on the market have been digital creations that already existed in the past elsewhere. A good example is famous digital artist Mike Winklemann (aka Beeple) who crafted a composition of 5,000 daily drawings creating the most famous NFT titled EVERYDAYS: The First 5000 Days, which sold for a record-breaking $69.3 million. Though this can be considered fantastic for a lot of digital artists, it isn't necessarily good for the art world. One issue that remains with NFT's is that some NFT's are partially responsible for the millions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions which is generated by the cryptocurrencies that are used to buy and sell them. However, leading members of the NFT world have said research and funds are already being put towards making the production of cryptocurrency to be more environmentally friendly. So is this new digital creation a foolish idea that will just hurt our environment more? The question remains is the popularisation of this new market going to be beneficial in the long run? Digital artists push yes, and environmentalists push no. Only time will tell as more research has been done on cryptocurrencies and the NFT's that come with it.