Aug 19, 2021
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been making waves in the first half of 2021, with crypto art taking center stage in this rapidly growing trend.
Algorand supports NFTs through the Algorand Standard Assets (ASA) framework, enabling users to build tokens directly on its Layer-1 blockchain – a secure, genuinely decentralized network with high throughput, low transaction fees and minting costs, and almost instant finality.
The blockchain’s unique package of benefits convinced ZestBloom, a next-generation digital media marketplace, to build its ecosystem on Algorand.
Crypto art is unique digital art that is represented by non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on a blockchain network to prove ownership and authenticity. This makes the ownership and sale of digital artworks possible in a transparent, verifiable, and secure environment.
The crypto art market value has increased from about $90 million in mid-February to over $400 million as of mid-March, suggesting that there is strong demand for Internet-native artwork.
Crypto artist Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, embodies the superlative success of crypto art. His NFT-powered artwork titled “Everydays: the first 5000 days” was sold for almost $70 million at a Christie’s auction.
The market has surged in popularity to the point where Sotheby’s and Christie’s are embracing it. NFTs helped the world’s two largest fine art auction houses get closer to the crypto world by accepting cryptocurrencies for items sold on their platforms.
Sotheby’s deputy chairman of jewelry in Asia, Wenhao Yu, stated:
“The most ancient and emblematic denominator of value can now, for the first time, be purchased using humanity’s newest universal currency. Never was there a better moment to bring a world-class diamond such as this to the market.”
In April, Sotheby’s facilitated an NFT sale, helping digital creator Pak earn millions for his craft.
ZestBloom is a next generation digital media marketplace looking to provide a new way of experiencing crypto art, putting a great emphasis on supporting and promoting digital artists for their contributions.
NFT marketplaces are currently thriving as they’re the go-to platforms connecting NFT buyers and sellers. However, most platforms focus on the NFTs themselves. ZestBloom wants digital artists to get the attention they deserve by acting as a platform that helps artists to promote themselves and engage with collectors and fans.
As it’s making its first steps, ZestBloom has already managed to attract several talented artists, including Roberto Pazzi, an award-winning travel photographer, and Felix Musyoka, who is doing realism art using charcoal and graphite mediums.
Pazzi already has a portfolio of tokenized works, many of which will likely be displayed on ZestBloom.
The platform is built on Algorand, which uses the Pure Proof of Stake (PPoS) consensus mechanism invented by MIT Professor Silvio Micali to help ZestBloom facilitate purchases and track ownership of assets at much lower fees, and with a smaller carbon footprint.
ZestBloom is building its NFT art marketplace on Algorand because it is a highly scalable blockchain with low transaction fees and instant transaction finality. On top of that, Algorand’s PPoS-powered chain is unforkable, which is important for NFTs as it prevents any possible fork-based duplications.
For example, SIAE (Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori) – the largest copyright collecting agency in Italy - used Algorand to mint NFTs representing the rights of its member authors. SIAE rolled out 4.5 million NFTs representing the rights of over 95,000 authors. If the agency counted on another popular blockchain to mint NFTs, it would have spent between $40 and $100 per item, which means up to $450 million in total fees (!).
With Algorand, the cost to mint an NFT is negligible, which makes a huge difference for NFT issuers.
But it’s not only about fees. It’s fair to say that Algorand is cost-efficient, but the main focus is on security and features.
Algorand has an unbreakable consensus mechanism with no single point of failure. What’s more, Algorand provides developers with all the necessary tools to mint a wide range of assets with customizable options while making this experience as intuitive as possible.
On top of that, Algorand pledged to be the greenest blockchain, reaching relevant partnerships that help it become carbon-negative.
For ZestBloom, this is an important aspect since many investors and artists have repeatedly raised concerns about NFTs’ carbon footprint. By using Algorand, artists can have peace of mind that the production of their tokenized works doesn’t damage the environment.