Thursday 8 April 2021 11:00 am

DEBATE: Are NFTs going to change the art world?

Ezra Konvitz is Director at Founders Intelligence
and Garry Jones
Garry Jones is CEO of Perfect Channel

Ezra Konvitz, Director at Founders Intelligence says No

NFTs are immutable receipts, not artworks per se. Right now, they’re speculative assets without intrinsic value; unlike Dogecoin, however, the number of interested buyers for any single NFT will be highly constrained, defeating that purpose. Their prime use is either to launder money or to somehow show off in a virtual world – the latter isn’t entirely crazy but steers away from ‘virtual art’ toward ‘virtual collectables’. 

As with any blockchain activity, it’s critical that the NFT originator legitimately owns the rights to it in the first place. To make matters worse, as the owner of an NFT you’re entirely reliant on the reliability of the hosting platform and the links to the virtual artwork not breaking (imagine that 404 error…). 

At their best, I see NFTs enabling and supporting a market for digital-only artworks – an interesting medium, but likely to remain on the fringe for collectors, institutions and investors.

Garry Jones, CEO of Perfect Channel says Yes

NFTs have already changed the art world and will develop wider applications across industries. Inevitably when future asset classes emerge, there are naysayers calling it a “bubble” and investors wary of longevity. Crypto assets have broadly survived their initial “boom and bust” to emerge as serious investment options. The current NFT boom isn’t a bubble sustained by one record-breaking auction like Beeple’s. Instead, it has demonstrated desire for greater accessibility in an industry famed for its exclusivity.

Digital artists can now reach a larger audience, and garner support from investors seeking to capitalise on future growth. As a result, over $200 million was spent on NFT artwork in the past month alone, compared with $250 million spent in 2020.

Strong demand for NFT artwork will inspire a myriad of opportunities for how art is created, sold and collected. Physical art requires enough space to store it and enough money to insure it, making it an investment only available to a wealthier demographic. While NFTs won’t replace traditional art forms altogether, the increased security, authenticity and marketability of NFTs means it will facilitate the future inclusivity and diversity of the art world.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.