A Simple Introduction to Tokenising Your Artwork Online (via Ethereum)

24.01.2020, 14:17

If you’re an artist or illustrator there are now marketplaces online where you can tokenise and sell your work. Firstly, what does 'tokenise' mean and why is it important?



Ever since Bitcoin came along, we now have ‘digital scarcity’. This means anything which ‘exist’ digitally, can be made unique and rare. Blockchain technology makes this possible, since it’s a distributed ledger which records transactions and all their associated items. This ledger underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.


This effectively means you can tokenise any digital file or image file, recording information about it to a blockchain platform (primarily Ethereum as it’s the most tailored for this).


You can then sell it online, either independently (on your own website), or on an open marketplace (see example). 


rare art of Ethereum logo from Ade's Press

An example of rare artwork available on Mintbase.io


If someone buys your artwork / token, then they become the new owners, just like a piece of traditional art, for an art collector. They can trade it or sell it on (and profit from your art) if they so wish. 


Depending how many tokens (or editions) you decide to ‘mint’ of this digital file, you can determine how rare you want this image to be. Obviously, minting a lot will simple de-value the scarcity of the token or artwork. Therefore, it would make sense to set them at a lower price, if you wish many potential buyers to own copies of your work. 


It’s also important to bear in mind that although you may retain a copy of your artwork for yourself, you are effectively passing it on, to someone else. This may apply if the artwork was originally a physical piece of traditional art. You could consider giving the new owner the original piece along with the token too, if they so wish. 


So where to start minting your image files?


There are two good services you can use, the main one being the Storefront Manager on Opensea. However, you’ll need first to set up a MetaMask Ethereum wallet and fund it with some Ethereum, (from your Coinbase cryptocurrency wallet, or wherever you purchase your Ethereum from). Note: If you collect enough points here at PrizesDrop.com you can earn Ether for your time completing mini-tasks here.


Another great thing about using Opensea to sell your artwork, is you can also set 'bounties' on your work, to incentivise matchmaking of other sellers with buyers.



Using Mintbase.io


You can also use Mintbase.io, which also stores the image files you wish to upload. 


But where do the tokens live once they're minted? Your art tokens themselves will store in your MetaMask wallet. Any tokens you mint with Mintbase will appear in Opensea as well because both link to your MetaMask wallet, until a buyer purchases one, where it is transferred to their wallet automatically. 


This all becomes evident when you start minting tokenised editions of your artwork, using dapps, or using MetaMask.


Here is a video explaining Mintbase:



Once you’ve minted your first tokenised item of artwork, you can now put it up for sale (via Mintbase or Opensea) and link to it across social media. 




Tokenised art is set to revolutionise ownership of artwork and open up a whole new marketplace for trading it. 'Crypto-collectibles' are already fetching high prices, especially in the trading card arena, with games such as CryptoKitties.



Linking the Digital with the Physical


There are also services which aim to connect traditional 'fine art', modern art (or real-world artwork) to minted tokens of the work. This can be achieved via hidden stickers, chip technology etc. This can mean that when you purchase a digital token, you not only get the digital item, but the physical one too, delivered by mail.


In all of this, it’s effectively the Ethereum blockchain that is managing the proof of ownership that tells everyone who is the current owner, and features all the sales history attached to the item.  Transactions are recorded on this decentralised digital ledger. These are the tokenised proofs or NFTs that people are trading.


Now is a good time to start tokenising your art, or becoming an art or crypto-art collector.


Here at Prizes Drop, we offer free Ethereum crypto if you can collect enough points by completing our wide range of simple mini-tasks. These include watching ads and doing simple surveys, or testing games.



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