Artists in South Africa have now embraced the new technologies of selling their works as Non-Fungible Tokens also known as NFTs.
A non-fungible token (NFT) is used to certify the authenticity and ownership of a digital work with a unique digital identifier that cannot be copied that is recorded in a blockchain.
Some South African artists have taken hold of the opportunity to evolve with the times as the NFTs use the same technology as crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.
According to a news article on African news, in an interview with a South African artist, Fhatuwani Mukheli who has already sold two art piece as NFTs said: “it’s actually a great opportunity for me to be playing in that sphere, the world is constantly evolving; i am a very traditional artist, but i realise that if i’m going to hold on to what i know the bus is going to miss me”.
Mukheli said that the most amazing thing with the NFTs is that it makes artists compete completely at the same time with everyone in the world. He said: “Trends would start in America and would get to us a year later or two years later, but now we are current, we are literally the same as any first world country”.
The digital system has a very unique method of transaction, the buyer receives a verified digital token when an artist sells an artwork which proves the authenticity of the artwork.
The founder of the Tree platform through which artists sell their artworks, Dan Portat, who is also an artist said: “I think it is quite exciting and to open the gateways for artists who want to make the change and want to experience the best of the physical and the digital world of art”.
However, many people are concerned about the environmental impact of NFTs, namely the vast amounts of energy it uses to verify the authenticity of digital tokens. According to Tech watchdog Digiconomist, estimates that Ethereum uses as much electricity as all of the Netherlands, with a carbon footprint comparable to Singapore’s.