Virtual pop star Lil Miquela has sold her first piece of crypto art for 82 thousand dollars and donates the proceeds to charity organization Black Girls Code. The auction was the biggest sale on SuperRare to date. The winner of the auction is investment group Divergence Ventures, who also pumped money in Balancer, Compound and Polymarket.
“We are very, very proud to own TokenID 16297”, the new owner of the artwork Rebirth of Venus said. “We get to donate $80k to [the] amazing organization Black Girls Code, support the NFT industry and do this with an on-chain purchase of digital media created by a leading avatar influencer.”
Yes, they sure make it sound very cool.
The artist has been active online since 2016, but she’s not a real person. Miquela Sousa a.k.a. Lil Miquela is a digital character, created by Trevor McFedries and Sara DeCou. Their project began with an Instagram profile four years ago, and she now has over 2.8 million followers. In addition the virtual artist made multiple music videos and worked with artists like Bauer. Lil Miquela is quite the activist, and this is not the first time she has worked with charity organizations.
The artwork itself is taken from the virtual pop star’s video clip Hard Feelings. However, this piece of crypto art has butterflies in multiple colors and some glitch effects. Obviously the artwork isn’t really created by Miquela, but with the rise of computer-generated art we do have to wonder how long before both the art and the artists are virtual. Will humans only be curating?
What is crypto art?
Crypto art or digital art has been around for many years. However, without the existence of blockchain technology it was impossible to verify authenticity and rarity. Now digital art connects directly with an unique token on the Ethereum blockchain. That way buyers can see how many copies of a certain artwork there are, and whether the product is original.
The concept of seeing a digital image as art, is one thing. However, for many people it will be a challenge to consider digital images as valuable. Consider this: The Mona Lisa is worth many millions of dollars. If I would paint the Mona Lisa in an exact copy, it would be worth only 50 dollars. Because we all know where the original version is. Being able to verify the authenticity and rarity of a piece of art is crucial.
Some people don’t care about the Mona Lisa. It’s just a painting. They are happy to download an image for Google Images, print it on canvas and hang it in their living room. Others want the real deal. The same rules go up for digital crypto art. Some people want to original one, others are happy with a copy on their phone.
Crypto art is gaining popularity. Platforms like Rarible, Superrare and Knownorigins are thriving. The introduction of blockchain technology allowed digital artists to create unique artworks. Ownership and rarity are now verifiable through the blockchain, creating true value. Last year the crypto art market was good for 559 thousand dollars in trading volume. The market grew 115 percent compared with the year before.
In addition several artists from ‘outside’ the blockchain space have been showing interest. MakersPlace has already partnered with comic book artist José Delbo, while NiftyGateway sold some original Vandal Gummy artworks. Even Paris Hilton sold a drawing!
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Robert Hoogendoorn is a gamer and blockchain enthusiast. He got in touch with crypto in 2014, but the fire really lit in 2017. Professionally he’s a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games & tech industry. He’s a communication consultant for blockchain start-ups and writes not only for Play to Earn, but also other dapp websites and tech magazines.