Non Fungible Token. Yes, it’s more crypto talk. Get over it! An NFT is simply a digital asset, a one-of-a-kind (hence non-fungible) bits and bytes “thing”. And yes it has value. The same kind of value that a collector may ascribe to a collectible stamp or movie poster. And pay more attention to what NFTs present as an opportunity for doing good in the world. We may well be at peak NFT right now. But then again we may not be. Whatever your view, UK-based Fintech CURVE has just set the bar for company swag a tiny bit higher than ever before. In a move that most can only nod to as Fintech4Good meets the NFT craze, the company has created digital assets to auction to support an industry on the brink. CURVE has kicked off a charity NFT auction that will support the theatre industry by partnering with the Theatre Support Fund. Much of the theatre world remains closed from Broadway to London’s West End. ERLY caught up with CURVE founder, Schahar Bialick who said:
“Digital art that makes a difference for physical artists, we are putting the NFT hype to work for a cause.”Schahar Bialick, Founder & CEO Curve
The NFT craze first took hold of the world’s imagination when CryptoKitties (created by Roham G. of agency) broke Etherium (a public blockchain) that the digital cats were being sold on. What is often hailed as the first big crypto game, CryptoKitties went on to inspire an entire industry and many saw the spike in prices associated with the digital assets and trading and NFT collection went viral. Today we are closer than ever to having NFTs be a part of mainstream culture with auction houses like Christies selling Beeple’s (digital artist) NFT art for millions. There has been much criticism for NFTs by way of the environmental impact and many doubt the longevity and question its persistence value (will some of the people and companies behind some NFTs even be around in the future). The other side of the argument has shown that much of the physical artwork where atoms have been created for the purpose of creative human expression has also had a significant carbon footprint.
It is possible that the future of art collecting is digital, but it’s too early to say. NFTs solved a lot of the problems around digital art’s authorship and ownership but some challenges remain, such as Bit rot or ‘data degradation’.
The real excitement should be about the fact that this technology helps sell digital art easily and safely. Quite importantly NFT artists receive their resale rights automatically. In time some predict that having physical, tangible art collections at home may become marginal in comparison to having a fully digital NFT art collection.Marine Tanguy, founder of MTArt Agency
NFT assets that are sold present an enormous opportunity for the third sector, charities, and the world of not for profits when it comes to raising money for the various worthy causes and missions they are pursuing.
With much of the theatre world struggling with closures, the performing arts community has adopted to technology. The performing arts community goes beyond theatre for instance the dance company Rambert has launched an incredible online education platform called Rambert Studio and is delivering virtual classes. One can see Hamilton on Netflix but for the majority, theatre closures have meant hard times for both producers, performers, and artists alike. With the digital world still flourishing with activity, the sale of NFTs as a means to raise money for the Theatre Support Fund is a welcome respite for UK theatre in particular. The initiative plans to sell 5 pieces of digital art, created by Curve designer Kitt saraza, in an online auction with 100% of the proceeds going to support struggling artists in London. To bid on the tokens, readers need to visit Rarible.com/curveos.
Please note this is not a paid-for advertorial and ERLY STAGE is a supporter of the performing arts. We would encourage readers to dig deep into their Crypto Wallets or Fiat (we don’t judge) and do what they can to support theatre in London. Theatre-goers have a unique opportunity to help the very industry they love.
Curve way well have set a new standard in Startup Swag and readers should also be on the look out for how companies and charities around the world will see this auction as a “teaching moment” for how NFTs did good.