Programmable art platform Async Art has made a record sale with Ethboy, a collaboration between artists Trevor Jones and Alotta Money. The artwork, which changes based on the pricing of Ethereum, sold for 260 ETH or $141.536 at the time of the auction. The buyer goes by the nickname MaxStealth, who recently also made headlines with other acquisitions.
In recent months Async Art has made one record sale after the other. In September Matt Kane’s Right Place & Right Time was sold for 101 thousand dollars. One month later the platform worked together with auction house Christie’s on the sale of Block 21, which sold for 131 thousand dollars. During that same month a work by Trevor Jones and José Delbo sold for 111 thousand dollars, while Micah Johnson’s ˈsä-v(ə-)rən-tē sold last week for 114 thousand dollars.
Async Art was founded earlier this year. The works on this particular platform stand out because they are programmable. Async Art is a digital art platform where artists can create digital art made up out of different programmable layers. These layers can have different owners. The layers can also change based on the time of the day, date, the weather, and so on.
The physical artwork shows a young Vitalik Buterin as Picasso’s son Paulo, who’s dressed up as Harlequin. However, the programmable digital artwork changes based on certain calendar days and the price fluctuations of Ethereum.
The artwork changes based on changes in the value of ETH, but also gas fees. In addition the artwork is connected to one of Vitalik Buterin’s wallets, and it changes on his birthday (January 31st) and the release day of Ethereum (July 30th). Furthermore there are some small aesthetic details that change based on the pricing of Bitcoin.
The artwork is unique. There will only be one tokenized version of EthBoy. The programmable layers change daily. The person who owns EthBoy after the auction ends on Saturday 21st will receive 33% of the profit of 10 future derivative EthBoy NFTs over the next five years. If EthBoy is sold within five years, future profit sharing will be transferred to the new owner.
The profits come from the sales of mini artworks based on the master artwork. Every twelve months Alotta Money and Trevor Jones will sell an animated artwork that looks back at the past 182 days of changes to EthBoy. The first one of these auctions will take place on OpenSea shortly after July 30th, 2021.
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 content manager and creator at heart, working on Play to Earn and for a variety of third party magazines and websites.