The NFT collection with Melgaard’s “The Lightbulb Man” sold out almost completely. The artist himself says he does not know how long he will own the cryptocurrency.
Bjarne Melgaard’s NFT sale opened to the public on Saturday 22 January and closed again on Sunday evening.
By then, 1025 of the 1122 copies had been sold.
– The NFTs that were not sold were burned, ie deleted, says curator Sam Farao, who also gets his share of the proceeds from the sale.
An NFT (non-fungible token) is a digital file attached to a blockchain, such as an image or video. It differs from other digital photos and videos in that it is demonstrably an original.
Pharaoh says that he is not surprised by the high sales, but that they had not allowed themselves to expect it either.
– Bjarne Melgaard is a significant artist at an international level, and we knew that the interest would be great. However, he has not made art in this way before, so we were excited, says Pharaoh.
Sharp price fall
The price of each NFT was 0.5 ethereum. With today’s price of around 21,000 kroner, this means that the art project has brought in ethereum worth 10.7 million kroner.
What Bjarne Melgaard actually gets added to his wallet, of course, depends on when he sells the cryptocurrency. Currently, ethereum, like other leading cryptocurrencies, is in a negative trend.
– Right now I am at the beginning of this NFT project, and I have not yet thought about the idea of realizing the cryptocurrency. It is actually unnatural for me to think about this right now, Melgaard writes in an email.
In the days before the release, while extra interested people could pre-order NFTs, each digital work of art was worth around 14,000 kroner.
If you bought on Sunday night, with the recently acquired ethereum, the price would be around NOK 10,500.
And if you look a few months back in time, the ethereum price has almost halved since the peak from the turn of the month November / December last year.
– This is how it is with cryptocurrency, and it is difficult to time that kind of thing. Of course, we are primarily concerned with art, and how to convey it to people out there. We will continue with that focus, and the price of ethereum is really something that is not so important in the process we are in now, says Pharaoh.
No two completely alike
It was in September last year that E24 was able to write about Bjarne Melgaard’s NFT project for the first time.
Through a collaboration with curator Sam Farao, “The Lightbulb Man”, one of Melgaard’s masterpieces, has been digitized.
They have extracted prints from Melgaard’s archive, scanned them and added special features and characteristics to the works that ensure that none of the 1122 variants are exactly alike.
Then they are stored on the blockchain ethereum. Through blockchain technology, one can guarantee that the artwork is an original. Hence the name NFT. This stands for “non-fungible token” and can be translated to “non-replaceable data device”.
Exactly which “The Lightbulb Man” the buyer has received, however, was not revealed until Monday night, many hours after the last purchases.
Read on E24 +
– We will see how much faith people have in their bitcoin thesis
Earns on every resale
When E24 interviewed Melgaard and Pharaoh about the case last autumn, Melgaard said that he had no idea what he would gain from crypto art, but that it was of course a financial motive to do so.
Read on E24 +
Bjarne Melgaard will sell crypto art: – Of course an economic motive
At the time, there was a slightly different pricing model for the project. The preliminary price plan provided for a higher total number of ethereum than it was in the end.
Combined with the fact that they put on analyzes that indicated a price increase of up to 90,000 dollars per ethereum until the new year, the partners were able to outline income in the order of 200 million kroner.
So it was “only” 10 million on the two, although this can quickly rise with potentially higher ethereum rates. However, Melgaard’s income does not stop at the first sale, as it does with traditional art.
The blockchain technology enables the artist to also gain from any price increases.
Each time one of Melgaard’s NFTs is resold, he will receive a few percent of the purchase price.
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