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Thinking about the possibilities of NFTs with Damien Hirst’s new art economy

An art project by the celebrated contemporary artist Damien Hirst explores the possibilities of NFT art. I purchased work from his project and also thought about its meaning.

◆What is NFT art?
NFT art is digital art where ownership is certified and unfalsifiable. NFTs are issued and traded on the same blockchains as cryptocurrencies are. (Most transactions use Ethereum, not Bitcoin.)

◆What is new?
As digital art is digital, it can be copied: it was difficult to preserve a work of art’s uniqueness. This became possible with blockchain technology. This is a technological revolution that gives digital art the same value as one-of-a-kind items.

Digital art became widely recognized when, in March 2021, Christie’s, a world-famous auction house, handled and sold NFT art at the fourth-highest price in its history (BEEPLE = ¥7.5 billion).

◆What is Damien Hirst’s NFT project “The Currency”?
・Can Damian use art to issue a new currency? (With a total value of ¥2 billion, it is sure to be worth over ¥10 billion in a few years.)
・He created 10,000 unique pieces of physical art protected with nine anti-counterfeiting measures (each piece costs about ¥200,000)
・After fully converting the position and design of the dots into data, the works are also made into NFTs.
・A successful bidder must, within a set period, choose either the physical or digitized version.
・The choice of analog or digital will be announced at a later date.

During an interview, Hirst laughed, saying, “What if all the buyers choose digital?”

◆Fukuda’s view
・I made multiple offers and succeeded in buying two pieces.
・I bought one with cryptocurrency and the other with a credit card (although it had to be purchased from the exchange via a wallet).
・The piece I purchased with cryptocurrency is stored digitally. As for the one bought with a credit card, I decided to wait for the physical version to arrive.
・Life always forces you to make a choice: “Which will you choose?” We even have to choose what dressing we want on our salad. However, I always try to answer with “everything.”
We are often urged to make decisions about things we don’t need to decide on. However, if you think you don’t need to make a choice, choosing not to choose is also an important option.
When it comes to interesting art made by an artist as great as Damien Hirst, one wants to have both the physical and the digital, no?

◆Reference: The following is a summary of the project
Damien Hirst poses the ultimate choice between NFT art and physical art