The popularity of the blockchain industry in Africa is increasing daily. There are many sectors in the continent that blockchain technology is revolutionizing, ranging from finance, healthcare, and the Art sector. This article will look at the new rave in the Blockchain industry, ‘NFT,’ and its implication on African Art.
What are NFTs?
NFT is referred to as Non-fungible tokens.
When something is referred to as fungible, it can be interchanged; the value can be used to purchase a good or service. For example, Fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies are all fungible assets.
NFTs are a digital asset but not a cryptocurrency. Likewise, not all digital assets are cryptocurrency.
Examples of NFT
- A movie ticket.
- A unique digital artwork.
- A sports ticket.
Non Fungible vs. Fungible
There might be a bit of confusion as regards what Fungible and Non-fungible assets are; the significant difference between both is their store of value; non-fungible assets are unique to a particular event or purpose, while fungible assets are divisible and can be used for several purposes.
A clear illustration is an exchange between two friends whom I’ll name Scott and Peter for this article. Peter borrows Scott $1000. Scott can decide to pay back with $100 in 10 places or choose to pay with $200 in 5 places, it doesn’t change the value of the money, and the same applies if it’s Bitcoin.
This is because Fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies are fungible.
The same cannot be said if Scott decides to borrow Peter’s Ferrari and is involved in an accident; he can’t approach Peter to replace it with a Toyota. But, again, this is because Art collectibles are Non-fungible and Unique.
A Ferrari is different from a Toyota, A ticket to watch a UCL final is different from that of An NBA finals.
Importance of NFTs to arts in Africa
The talents in the creative sectors in Africa are very incredible. Nevertheless, not all are paid or have the means to sell their talent on a global scale. NFTs make it easier for creators to make more money, especially with the unemployment crisis in Africa beginning to rise.
NFTs provide an avenue for artists to showcase their work to a bigger audience; there is no need to sit in the gallery and wait for people to come and buy your beautiful work of art as an artist.
The NFT marketplace makes it easier to sell to waiting customers who are interested in arts. It is essential to go digital as the post-covid world ensures that rules are put to limit the number of people in galleries, conferences, and exhibitions.
In March 2021, Nigerian artist Jacon Osinachi revealed he sold $75,000 worth of crypto art within ten days. Stories like this show how NFTs can serve as a major boost to the finances of artists in Africa, which boosts the economy of the continent and further encourages a lot of people to become an artist full-time or as a side hustle.
Problems Artists face with NFT in Africa.
It has been established that NFTs can make money for an artist in Africa. Nevertheless, some factors are mitigating against African artists in the NFT marketplace.
- The high cost of minting NFTs is a major factor. Not all artists, especially the less established ones, can fork out the $100-$200 needed to mint their piece. However, some platforms help subsidize or reduce the cost.
- The government is a factor to consider when dealing with NFTs. Some countries have made it difficult for cryptocurrency enthusiasts to receive money directly into their bank account. However, the youthful digital population has resulted in P2P, which might account for the increase in the use of P2P across Africa.
- Africa doesn’t have a mainstream marketplace, although Afridex and Afen are looking to use Blockchain technology to solve this issue. This will ensure that African artists don’t sell their art cheaply.
- Artists with little or no social media presence might find it hard to sell their artwork or place a premium value on their artwork, unlike their counterparts with a large following.
NFT and Africa entertainment Industry
The probability of having come across this famous meme or videos above is high. The meme is from a popular Nigeria Actor, Osita Iheme. He was very popular in the late ’90s to Mid ’20s for acting in comic movies, popular in Africa entertainment settings.
With his meme going viral on social media, many people on social media constantly ask if he’s getting ant tractions or royalty for his images being used as memes. Finally, it seems the answer is finally here.
The primary importance of NFTs to African art is majorly from the economic and exposure point of view. Like major digital platforms and innovations have ensured that the Nigerian entertainment industry has gone global, and many artists are making money. The Artistic talents in Africa are numerous. NFTs will ensure that their work becomes global, and much money will be made.
Written By Adeyemi Boboye