When I wrote the article, the “thodex” incident had not yet exploded. If you followed it in the press, other similar incidents took place afterwards. Elon Musk opened his mouth and the value of crypto money rose. Elon Musk opened his mouth, the value of crypto money fell. One of the latest news was that China has imposed a ban on crypto money.
When my son started researching after talking about the relationship between crypto money, NFT and art, which he talked about in a conversation because he entered the profession, I realized that I was entering a different, strange and surprising world.
I once dealt with a stamp collection. There were stamps left over from my father. I used to go to Izmir Philatelic Association frequently. The year is 1980-81. I have participated in auctions here and bought stamps. Besides, I was a follower of the PTT. I would include newly issued stamps, stamps on the first day in my collection. The most interesting thing I experienced was the production of the F27 aircraft (Dutch Fokker) in the 1967 aircraft series during an auction. The F28 has a bitter place in my life. Whatever fate I have, Fokker has recently re-entered my life)
I learned that it was worth more than others (unfortunately I don’t remember how much money it was). At the auction of this stamp, there was almost a fight. I watched in amazement. Much later, on a holiday trip, when I asked the post office office of a small town “Do you have any stamps left?”, my eyes opened like a fortune telling stone when the clerk laid the stamps in front of me with his eagerness to melt the stock. The F27 stamp was on the table. I got it from the value on whatever it was. There 😊 is some in the photo Did you say the most expensive stamp in the world? The value of the 1 cent hexagonal stamp minted in British Guyana in 1856 is exactly 9.5 million dollars. That price has been paid. There is not another one of these stamps. According to him.
I need to point out two things. First, collecting is an endeavor that requires curiosity and patience. The other will be your money. Accumulating even the most ordinary things is a serious cost. Then there are the letters I send to myself from the places I go. In these envelopes there are selected stamps and very neat stamps. This is also part of stamp collecting.
It is possible to list the principles of collecting (curiosity, patience, research, meticulousness, interest, money, storage method, archive creation) in eight steps. These are my own determinations. But the purpose of this article is not to praise collecting to readers. Therefore, we will not go into detail here.
If “money” is important in collecting, it is possible to identify this work with saving money. After all, an investment is being made. In the same way, works of art have become a way to save money. It seems to me that stamp collecting is an important and starting leg of this business. But think of it this way; you have a stamp. It’s worth $3 million, and you have to keep it in a safe. What do I understand from this business? It is even used as the best and easiest way to smuggle money from the state and launder money. In other words, art is a kind of victim to fraud. So much so that even the market for copy (fake) works has been formed.
In the course of time, when art evolves into a modern, post-modern, post-modern trend, collectors begin to adapt to it. This change/transformation (which seems like degeneration to me. I associate this idea with the establishment of a new world order above the states in a slightly more impulsive way) is partly related to the emergence of crypto coins in the market. “NFT ‘Non-fungible token’, which has been on the agenda in the art that has been shifting to the virtual environment for a long time, is defined as the signature of this artist to his digital work” is taking place in the virtual environment. In other words, a work of art is bought and sold with crypto money with the definition of NFT in the computer environment.
However, crypto money is needed for this process. The currency that is attractive is Ethereum. Let me also give you the current exchange rate of this unit: 1 Ether = 2,222.06 US Dollars. Do you know what the current situation (these values are approximately for the month of April 2021) when it was first released (October 2019) was 1 US Dollar = 1,309 Bitcoin (BTC)? 1 BTC = 56,665.70 USD. Today, there are 9,000 different cryptocurrencies on the market and almost all of them have been invented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US. Recently, when Elon Musk said, “I bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin,” BTC jumped to this figure from $ 43,000.
Let’s add again: The reserve currency of the world is the American dollar. International trade is largely done in dollars. The institution that regulates the dollar emission, that is, the amount of dollars in the market, is the Federal Reserve of the United States. The Fed is a private institution that is not owned by the American state and shares shares by eight famous families. The authority to print dollars is monopolized by these families. John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was assassinated after passing a law transferring the authority to print money to the treasury. And the authority was delegated back to the Fed.
Obviously, the coins that are said to exist (crypto coins) and defined in a completely virtual environment (the late Doğan Cüceloğlu used to call it “as if”) bring a little burnt smells to my nose. Crypto coins can withdraw the dollar released by the Fed in a much larger amount and much faster than other instruments. Moreover, it can do this outside the control of states. Crypto coins have no counterpart. The value of cryptocurrencies is determined by the conditions of supply and demand in the market. When demand increases, the price increases, and the price decreases. More importantly, there is no risk in this business. Crypto coins reminded me of the “Ponzi game” I read in Soner Yalçın’s column the other day. It’s a kind of pyramid scheme.
With the speed of the wind, virtual auction (Niftygateway), sale (Opensea, Mintable, Rarible) and wallet (Metamask) web pages appeared. In Metamask, you create a wallet for your cryptocurrency. There are probably others. What I found are the most glaring ones. You open an account on sales sites and associate your wallet. If you are going to make a purchase, you buy “Etherium” with real US dollars, put it in your wallet and spend it here. Mintable is also free to showcase NFT. You pay fees for some transactions. In Opensea, even registration is paid. Niftygateway is a very special website. Their co-founder is a twin brother and the brainchild of Facebook (who sues Zuckerbeck and gets a billion dollars). Not everyone can enter here. Once you will become famous. Then you will get an invitation. Let me give you an example of the heat of the moment: a pixel gray square called “Pixel” by designer Murat Pak sold for $ 1,355,555 the other day. So it’s the gray of Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square.” And as an NFT that happens in a virtual environment. There is nothing with a printed frame in the middle. I wholeheartedly agree with the voice you are making now. You’re not alone.
The situation is dire. To me, so… Art is no longer in the hands of artists, in their minds, in their skills. It is supplied according to demand. What a pity…
In this rapidly growing market (I have to use this word now), it is no longer clear who is the artist and what the work of art is. A complete stock market. So much so that a purchased work – let’s not spoil our mouths – is put up for sale again in a few minutes and can be sold again. “Art” has turned into a purely commercial discourse.
However, Niftybateway seems to be relatively good in this place by featuring NFT works of well-known artists and not restricting payment transactions to only crypto money. Not only the artists, but also the “things” that come out of the hands of famous people enter the auction and find buyers for very high figures. If you’re aware, I don’t use the term “artwork” anymore. The works are all called “NFT”. As soon as you publish it, it starts to be listed in your wallet.
However, the most critical and risky thing in these transactions is that your money is available in the virtual environment. If you forget your password and cannot access your wallet, you will need a glass of cold water on top of the money in your wallet. Or if your account is hacked, get past.
Dreamy. Right? However, if you make a short visit to the websites I gave above, your surprise will increase even more. You will be amazed that incredibly strange and meaningless things are on the sale lists.