Sports, hip-hop and digital art have collided with Jay-Z and Serena Williams’ investment in Bitski, an NFT marketplace that aims to make it simple to create, buy and sell non-fungible tokens. Bitski, refers to itself as the “Shopify for NFTs just closed its $19 million Series A funding round led by Andreesen Horowitz. With a 55% increase in NFT sales since 2020 of 250 million From $389 million to $389 million, the NFT market aspires to something of a digital gold rush for creators in the hip hop and sports industries alike.
The breakdown you need to know:
Quick NFT overview: The non-fungible token is unique and is used as a digital collectible. CultureBanx reported that digital currency like Bitcoin or Litecoin is fungible, so if it is exchanged for another, the end result is exactly the same. Not with NFT though; once traded, an NFT is unique to its buyer. Bitski offers a free trial, until you post an NFT, and three levels of plans after that, ranging from $99 to $1,499 per month.
These digital collectibles have become big business in the music industry this year, with tens of millions of dollars generated from the sale of these collectible digital assets. The roughly $6 billion hip hop industry is betting on the NFT arena. For example, during this year’s NBA All Star Weekend, Quavo, Lil Baby, 2 Chainz, and Jack Harlow teamed up with Bleacher Report to launch an NFT collection. The collection featured “four custom-designed basketballs that mix music, culture and sport with innovation.” They each received their own individual gold NFTs that sold for over $591,000 with No. 1 of 10 from 2 Chainz selling at most for 38 Ethereum or $68,030.
New Wave Art Collectors:
NFTs boomed in 2020, though some warn that a bubble is building to burst, particularly in the NFT art market. Blockchain NFT trading has made the world of art collecting an open, democratized and diverse market for the first time in history. In the first two months of the year there were $300 million in NFT sales, according to Cointelegraph. Artists now use Blockchain platforms to record copyright data for digital artwork, create proofs of ownership, and receive credit each time the artwork is traded digitally.
Historically, the art trade was an exclusive and primarily white area of investment. Black art was underrepresented due to reliance on galleries, making it difficult for these artists to make a sustainable living from their craft. However, NFTs are changing this through waves that continue to surprise economists and turn the tide in terms of equity and profitability for digital artists. Blockchain allows them to sell digital artworks with fractional ownership: create as many “fractions” as they want and sell them to owners who buy only a fraction of the piece. Fractional ownership increases an owner’s chances of earning a significant return on investment.
Bitski noted that this investment phase will support his ambitions to “make the NFT economy more accessible to creators, brands and businesses.” Collectors and artists alike are confident that the opportunities that blockchain provides in terms of authenticity, fairness, and return on investment will allow it to endure.