Crypto Art

Burned Banksy Art Sold as NFT for $382.000

original banksy morons burn event

A group of digital art collectors have acquired a physical Banksy print and burned it, just to revive the artwork as an NFT and sell it for $381.820, or 228.69 ETH. They named the digital artwork Original Banksy Morons, and made it into an NFT based on a print of an original Banksy.

Banksy makes street art. Therefore the print itself was already a copy. Original Banksy Morons makes fun of art collectors paying lots of money for physical art, highlighting the nature of physical art by burning it. The estimate value of the physical print is anywhere between $75.000 and $90.000. This is the first time art by Banksy ‘officially’ becomes an NFT.

We view this burning event as an expression of art itself. We are generating a new form of artwork via the creation of this unique NFT that is a direct representation of the physical. The reason the burning itself is so important is because as long as the physical piece exists, the value of that piece will remain with the physical. However, if we entirely re-create the physical piece and input specifications such as the art version number into the smart contract code, no one can ever alter the the digital art in any way. In this way the physical piece will forever be memorialized in this NFT.

Statement by the anonymous NFT enthusiasts

Superfarm and Opensea

They minted the NFT through SuperFarm and auctioned it on OpenSea. An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a token on the blockchain that shows the history, scarcity and ownership over a digital asset. Whether that digital asset also exists on the blockchain, or perhaps inside a game or on decentralized hosting (IPFS) changes case by case.

My two cents, I think this is brilliant marketing for crypto art and probably for SuperFarm as well. It caught the attention of media outlets like Forbes, CBS News, and Yahoo Finance. Supposedly Banksy was aware of the burning, and he approved the NFT art initiative. It wouldn’t be the first time Banksy destroyed his own art.

What are NFTs?

NFT is the abbreviation for non-fungible tokens, which are tokens that signify ownership over unique digital assets. These assets can for example be items in a game, crypto art, or digital collectibles. In addition it could also be a ticket for a cinema or perhaps a subscription for public transit. The usability of NFTs doesn’t end with gaming, it only starts there.

A non-fungible token can’t be swapped one-on-one with another non-fungible token. It represents something unique. That’s why non-fungible tokens can be based compared with rare art, an owned house or a signed mint edition of a certain comic book. These products are unique and in the same way a non-fungible token is unique as well. This gives non-fungible tokens also an unique value that only represents that one specific token.

What is crypto art?

Crypto art is a piece of digital art that is tokenized on the blockchain as a non-fungible token. That means that the owner of the token will always hold a proven and original copy of a piece of art. Just like physical art, there can be unlimited copies. But ultimately there can only be one Mona Lisa.

Mostly we value art for its aesthetics and cultural relevance, but above all on the ability to verify the creator and its proven rarity. With blockchain technology these last two features are part of the blockchain. Everybody can see and confirm who minted these original creations.

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. In the end everything can be art. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a still image, moving image, video, music or a combination of everything.

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Robert Hoogendoorn avatar
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, started the Play to Earn Online Magazine in early 2020.