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Can Blockchain Technology Make Digital Art “Real?”

People like artwork, and people enjoy collecting it.  So much so, in fact, that people will pay a lot of money for original art.

That’s fine; a lot of painters and sculptors earn their living that way, and they are grateful.

Artists who work in other media also get paid for their work, but those who work in digital media tend to suffer for it in that they tend to earn substantially less money for their artwork than do artists who work in “tangible” media, such as oil or clay.

dada blockchain artThe reason for this makes sense; digital art can be easily reproduced, and a copy of a digital image is literally indistinguishable from the original work.

That makes it hard for an artist to sell a digital image for the same price that an artist might receive for a painting, as the marketplace and collectors tend to regard digital art as somewhat less authentic than “real” tangible art.

That may change, as a New York collaborative platform for artists called DADA.nyc is attempting to improve that situation by employing blockchain technology to the artwork sold through their platform.

Blockchain technology is the technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and it allows transactions to be uniquely identified, making it impossible to copy the currency.  Were it not for this technology, one could easily just duplicate their Bitcoins, which would effectively make them worthless.

dada.nycThe group began their new system by offering a new collection for sale called “Creeps & Weirdos,” an appropriate name, given that the art went on sale on Halloween.

Buyers are only permitted to purchase the art through a cryptocurrency called Ethereum.  By purchasing the art this way, the art will be accompanied by an electronic “token” that is tied to that specific image.  That effectively defines it as the “original” piece of art and will forever distinguish it from any copies that may be made of it at a later time.

DADA hopes that their efforts will spread across the entire art world and that other artists who work in the digital medium will embrace this new technology.   Just as Bitcoin has a ledger that keeps track of all transactions made using the currency, Ethereum will have a similar ledger tied to transactions that involve digital art.

This way, one will always know whether they are buying an original piece of art or a digital copy, which, while it might look just like the original, is nothing but a duplicate.  This should help improve the pricing of digital art, and if the technology becomes popular, it should help increase the value of digital art in general.

This will raise prices for digital art, and, the artists hope, will help them make a bit more money for their work.  While most artists are happy to produce art for art’s sake, they also, like everyone else, have to eat and have bills to pay.

Perhaps the new blockchain technology offered through DADA will help improve the lot of digital artists around the globe.

You can visit the DADA Website to learn more about their digital art.

More about DADA here: