New Kids On The Block: ArtBlocks.io

New Kids On The Block: ArtBlocks.io

In this weekend’s NFTs In A Nutshell, we highlighted a huge week (and month) for ArtBlocks.io, a unique NFT project that has been gaining some serious momentum lately. With this new featured content, ‘New Kids On The Block,’ we’ll be highlighting emerging projects and giving you the full scope of what they are up to. ‘New Kids On The Block’ will take a fresh perspective on well-established, but relatively new projects in the crypto marketplace.

First up to the plate is new kid on the ‘art block’ – ArtBlocks.io; let’s take a look at what the project is all about.

ArtBlocks.io: All You Need To Know

Art Blocks is self-described as a “first of it’s kind platform focused on genuinely programmable on demand generative content that is stored immutably on the Ethereum Blockchain. You pick a style that you like, pay for the work, and a randomly generated version of the content is created by an algorithm and sent to your Ethereum account.” In short, part of the desirability and demand here is purely driven by the fact that you only have a high-level perspective of the art that you’re paying for.

It’s almost like the feeling that an algorithm custom-made your own piece of art.

Chromie Squiggles are arguably the most ‘consumer-facing’ Art Block project. Squiggles are routinely commanding north of $25K-$50K recently; just yesterday, this Squiggle commanded a hefty 750 ETH (over $2.4M at present value). This was far and away the most expensive Squiggle to date. Even prominent NFT artist Beeple put out a commemoration to Squiggles (and fellow emerging project, Pudgy Penguins), “Pudgy Penguins Eating Chromie Squiggles“).

The Art Blocks platform has also opened up a “curation board” to highlight limited edition NFT art projects that the platform sees as on-brand for Art Blocks. Art Blocks Curates showed a recent average of roughly $21K, smashing through previous records. Curated pieces typically run in the form of ‘dutch auctions’, where the starting bid is set at 3 ETH and declines every five minutes to a resting price of 0.25 ETH. Art Blocks has looked at a number of different distribution strategies, including surprise drops, rewarding collectors, and open edition mints that are burned after 24 hours (you can find more about Art Blocks’ approach on these topics on their recent Medium post).

The platform was launched late last year by Houston, Texas based Erick Calderon. According to a Texas Monthly review last month, Calderon simply started the platform out of the simple desire to create a site where “computer-generated art could be sold using blockchain technology.” It’s quickly turning into a much bigger endeavor.

Calderon, who’s online username is Snowfro, is no stranger to NFT projects. He purchased a CryptoPunk for just 2.5 ETH back in December 2017 and reportedly sold it in recent weeks for around 2,250 ETH – a net gain of over $5M.

Sustainability & The Bigger Picture

Sustainability is one major piece of Art Blocks presentation. Calderon and the Art Blocks team seem to understand that addressing sustainability is a priority. The Art Blocks team sees carbon offset credits as suitable for the time being, while also noting that Ethereum 2.0 moving to proof-of-stake will address some sustainability concerns as well.

Art Blocks has also contributed to a number of sustainable wind farms and projects. Furthermore, the Art Blocks sustainability page notes that major members of the community (including Snowfro) have donated over $100,000 this year alone to sustainable initiatives and charitable causes. Furthermore, the Art Blocks community has contributed over $2M in recent collaborative giving.

Art Blocks are just one piece of the puzzle in the recent resurgence of NFTs. July was absolutely booming, with trading volumes across the top NFT projects (which beyond ArtBlocks, includes CryptoPunks, Axie Infinity, etc.) jumped over 300% and zoomed over $1.2B in total sales.

Art Blocks, notably, have been part of what some describe as a “generative art explosion.” Autoglyphs are another generative art project, formed by Larva Labs (the same creators as CryptoPunks) that have started commanding deep six figures in USD as well.

For NFTs as a whole, it’s likely a long road left to travel. However, early projects – CryptoPunks, Art Blocks, Axie Infinity, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and more – that have found loyalist fanbases are likely to continue to find success as the market strengthens.

However, the question still looms large: will they all have true long-term staying power?

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