Will Art Blocks grow faster than the old NFT platform to generate art that will trigger a new NFT boom?
An Ethereum community member named @quantbike recently exchanged one of his Cryptopunks for 15 works in the Art Blocks Curated series. At the time, this was arguably the most eye-catching (public) Art Blocks sale since Sotheby’s “native Digital” auction last June, because “Punks” claimed to have a certain legendary, rarity and value. Other works Rarely can reach this level.
Since the QuanTBike auction, the transaction volume of Art Blocks has increased significantly, and the price of some works far exceeds 100 ETH. With the continuous expansion of artworks created by Art Blocks using autonomous systems, Art Blocks has become the preferred platform for creation, collection and planning. It is reported that since its establishment, the Art Blocks platform has contributed more than 110 million U.S. dollars in cumulative secondary sales, of which more than 70% of the sales (approximately 77 million U.S. dollars) were completed within the past 30 days.
However, are the generated art works on the Art Blocks platform really raised to the level of rarity like CryptoPunks, or are their works experiencing short-term success before they are about to return to a normal state of free fall?
A brief history of generative art
Before getting into the Art Blocks (abbreviated AB) platform, it is necessary to briefly understand the history of generative art. Generative art works are not a new phenomenon-the Museum of Modern Art first recognized Lillian Schwartz, a pioneer of Generative Art, as early as 1984, and commissioned her to make a public service announcement showing the newly renovated MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). From the 1980s to today, with the increasing importance of computers, the art of computer generation has also risen to fame.
In 2014, with the creation of “GAN” (Generative Adversarial Network), generative art has undergone the next evolution. GAN is a neural network-an algorithm that uses machine learning to discover relationships in a set of data, which can recreate literature, poetry, and of course art and other media. In 2018, 34 years after Schwartz brought generative art into the global art stage, 18-year-old artist and Stanford University student Robbie Barat used GAN to cast the first generative art work “AI Generated Nude Portrait #1” on Ethereum.
AI Generated Nude Portrait # 1
Close behind is Autoglyphs created by CryptoPunk creator Larva Labs. This is a 2019 project, and many in the crypto community believe this is the first on-chain art collection.
Autoglyph from Larva Lab
Art Blocks: The development of the generated art market
On the basis of generating art trends, Art Blocks has created a market dedicated to generating works of art. Art Blocks was launched by Erick Snowfro in 2020 and is developing a platform that focuses on truly programmable, generative content, which is immutable on the Ethereum blockchain. In essence, the AB platform provides artists with tools to create generative art, and at the same time serves as a market for consumers to purchase works collected by artists. Artists define input parameters by writing generative scripts in languages such as p5.js, and then use algorithms to generate unique digital artwork.
These input parameters can be simple and limited, such as “color” and “shape”, or complex and extensive. Some works have more than 10 input parameters. Then, Art Blocks stores the code on the chain, and as long as people maintain Ethereum and understand p5.js, they can copy these images. When you cast a piece of art, the algorithm will create it for you “on demand”-the output you get is determined at that moment, adding a random element, similar to the success of the dynamic NBA Topshot earlier this year “Opening packs”.
The platform consists of three internal platforms:
Curated: The main platform, where the Art Blocks team conducts a thorough review of each candidate.
Artist Playground: A secondary platform for artists who have previously launched a portfolio on Curated and hope to launch subsequent works.
Factory: A more open platform, with less stringent review and access requirements.
Source: Art Blocks. The Art Blocks website shows a random artwork from their three platforms. The picture shows the 247th edition of “Color Magic Planets” by Bård Ionson from the Factory platform.
Since its launch in November 2020, Art Blocks’ “Curated” option has generated more than 38,000 ETH (US$100,320,000) in primary and secondary sales, supported by Tyler Hobbs’ popular project “Fidenza” and Dmitri Cherniak’s “Ringers”. “And Snowfro, the founder of Art Blocks’ first series “Chromie Squiggle”.
Fidenza by Tyler Hobbs, from left to right: #460, #938, #186. They were finally sold at prices of 100.69, 100 and 50 ETH respectively. They were minted at a price of 0.17 ETH.
Interestingly, more than half of Art Blocks sales came from the past 30 days. In the past month, sales between Curated, Factory and Playground were 33,781 ETH ($89,181,840). It is worth noting that the sales growth of the Art Blocks platform on these three platforms is in line with the wallet growth. This trend is not completely in line (because a user can make multiple wallets), but it is still an important indicator to track user growth.
Within the ArtBlocks platform, the percentage of sales on the Curated platform has always been ahead of the other two platforms (Factory and Playground). However, Factory and Playground occasionally have large peaks, which may mean that the works of lesser-known or undiscovered artists become more valuable and therefore the number increases.
However, although the Curated platform leads in sales, it lags behind Factory in percentage of sales. Intuitively, this makes sense, because the Playground and Factory are more open, so there should be more art influx. Nevertheless, the fact that collectors buy non-Curated works in large quantities is a positive sign for Art Blocks. Although neither the Factory nor the Playground platform can surpass the Curated platform, a healthy balance will ensure that all types of artists can succeed on Art Blocks.
Art Blocks 与The Gallery
Considering the performance of other well-known digital art markets such as Nifty Gateway (NG), SuperRare and Foundation, the accelerated growth of Art Blocks is impressive. At the peak in March, NG’s transaction volume was US$143.58 million, while SuperRare and Foundation’s transaction volume were slightly higher than US$29 million and US$16 million, respectively. Since then, these platforms have not rebounded in a manner similar to Art Blocks. On the contrary, most art platforms continue to experience a downward trend. The transaction volume of NG, SuperRare, and Foundation have fallen by 95%, 90%, and 75%, respectively, since their record highs in March.
Despite this, Nifty Gateway’s sales cannot be underestimated, with sales in May of 40 million U.S. dollars and June sales of 8 million U.S. dollars. Although Art Blocks did not achieve similar sales during the peak period in March, the generated art platform had sales of 11 million U.S. dollars in June and will exceed 20 million U.S. dollars in July. There is still a long way to go for Art Blocks to reach similar heights as Nifty or SuperRare experienced in March. The platform’s potential to reach new heights will largely depend on the continued growth of generative art trends.
One explanation for the rise of Art Blocks and the relative decline of other major platforms is that the market has a broader demand for generative works of art. With the revival of Art Blocks, generative avatar projects like Bored Apes Yacht Club also flourished in the last quarter.
Although markets like Foundation or SuperRare host some generative artworks, it is mixed with other artworks on the platform. AB is purely to create generative works of art, so for those interested in buying generative media, the platform can act as a sort of Schelling point. On the other hand, if generative art cannot maintain its current growth trajectory for a long time, it may be counterproductive. In addition, if it wants to catch up with companies like Nifty Gateway, SuperRare, and Foundation, Art Blocks still has a lot of work to do in terms of fiat currency entry, artist popularity, and general social awareness.
Although the recent numbers are impressive, the Art Blocks community has also helped drive the value of the platform. The first representative of third-party growth on Art Blocks is SquiggleDAO, an unofficial organization that requires the ownership of Chromie Squiggle, the first work of Snowfro mentioned earlier.
This decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is more than just a fan club. It has more than 500 members and squiggles worth about 400 ETH ($1,056,000) in the vault, and plans to expand its vault collection to other generated art works, SquiggleDAO Fully capable of carrying out its mission of “supporting the development and cultural relevance of generative NFT art”. Whether they succeed or not remains to be seen. On the one hand, when the current reserve price of about $10,000 excludes most of the potential members of the DAO, membership growth is impossible. On the other hand, high prices may make Squiggles more popular in the eyes of art investors who have excess demand for luxury collections. It is not yet certain whether a larger number of communities will win, but as other popular works gain more followers (and valuations), similar Art Blocks-derived DAOs may continue to appear in the near future.
Conclusion: Beyond the Art Gallery
Art Blocks is defined as a platform that “focuses on truly programmable on-demand generated content”. This definition leaves room for all kinds of content on the platform except for the art of casting. We have seen this, DADABOTS x KAI’s generated music project “BYTEBEATS” was released on Art Blocks Factory. Future creators may not come to Art Blocks to create generative visual art, but to create generative poetry, short stories or music.
Advances in artificial intelligence may open the door to art for all types of generative media. If consumer demand for generative works continues to grow, Art Blocks may become a generated version of some combination of huge art markets such as Sotheby’s, Epic Records, and Simon and Schuster. This may sound absurd, but remember Lillian Schwartz, the pioneer commissioned by MoMa? The same work also won an Emmy Award, so who can say that a generative song will not win a Grammy Award in the end, or a generative book will not be on the New York Times bestseller list? Only time will tell whether broader generative art can successfully enter all these markets and have a huge impact.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/will-art-blocks-grow-faster-than-the-old-nft-platform-to-generate-art-that-will-trigger-a-new-nft-boom/
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