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Crypto art is a big thing in the art world; Asia is keeping its watchful eye on it

We noticed recently that non-fungible token (NFT) is becoming more prominent since the first token was created in May 2014. This trend is coming fast and strong in the art community in Asia, and we can see many movements throughout Asia. In June, Cosmo Group in HK acquired Coinllectibles and announced its first NFT gallery plan. And just earlier in July, Taiwan calligrapher Ping-Huang Chang is creating history by combining NFT and Chinese calligraphy writing for the first time. However, should NFT be every artists’ choice of platform to trade their work? And as an investor, there is also another big question, is it for me?

NFT, just like Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, is a chain of digital ledgers that contain data and can be traded. NFT is linked with collectibles or artworks, whether digital files or physical pieces and NFT acts like its copyright license. However, unlike cryptocurrency, NFTs are not interchangeable and therefore not fungible. Many believe that this could bring the beauty of art and the beast of cryptocurrencies together. Also, due to the high transparency of NFT, this could give back artists the power over their artworks. However, from Taiwan, the director at Dotard Village, AK Yeung, is cautiously optimistic about this trend. He argues that even NFT, which by its features, seems a more appealing arena to many artists, especially young artists or digital artists. There are various considerations that need to be mitigated. He mentioned worries from artists that this digital certification might cease over time, aka link rot. And some artists underestimate how much the gas fee, transaction fee for cryptocurrencies are for them. For any environmental artists, the use of additional energy consumption for NFT is a significant concern. Nonetheless, we acknowledge the clear direction and continuously take steps to ensure our artists are ready for this. For example, we set up an internship program for artists interested in creating more artworks and determined to put them in front of the world.

From an investor perspective, this is both an exciting and new but immature market. For some of our clients, investing in artworks or collectibles as part of their portfolio is not a brand-new idea. The NFT has done for them to bring in a lot more options that might not be easily accessible before. Also, the recent boom of fame for NFT is helping other clients to see the potential within. However, this is also risky since we have not yet heard the end of this new technology’s disadvantages. And like all other financial products, due diligence is key to successful investment. This market is changing by the minutes, various products and more opportunities appear every day.

For everyone in the art or finance world, NFT is still a new but sure thing to come. Just like many advancements, it has both good and bad effects. While NFT could provide a potentially better environment for artists to see their hard work circulating in a more public world, NFT is also new technology and could have side effects that we might not yet discover. Whatever the case lies in the future, we should keep an eye on this, no matter which side you are on.