What are Art Blocks and why do they sell so well?
What are Art Blocks and why do they sell so well? What are Art Blocks and why do they sell so well?

Much of the discussion of the recent NFT boom has focused on collections like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, which have seen transaction volumes in the hundreds of millions of dollars in recent weeks. There’s another NFT collection with a very different charm. It’s called Art Blocks.

It’s not entirely new, but its impact on the NFT market has accelerated rapidly: Art Blocks generated $403 million in trading volume on CryptoSlam in August, more than 80% of its total since the project launched in November 2020.

Earlier this week, a single Art Blocks NFT sold for $3.3 million in ETH – a new record for the collection – and it is one of 16 individual pieces in the massive collection that have sold for a million or more (each).

NFT is the blockchain-verified act of ownership of a unique digital object, whether it’s an image, a video file, or something else entirely. Art Blocks is a generative art collection that includes a wide range of works by different artists. Some are flat paintings or interactive 3D compositions, but all share a similar origin story: each final, one-of-a-kind image is generated by the Ethereum blockchain.

How are Art Blocks created?

An artist creates an algorithm or script and implements it on Ethereum, experimenting with compositional elements to develop a unique design style before blockchaining the code. During the token minting process, the final image is generated from the script using the string <a href=”https://bithub.pl/slownik/hash/”>hash or “seed” provided by token.

Each resulting image is different and created ad hoc, out of sight of the buyer, but there are consistent elements and recurring themes that tie them all together into a cohesive design.

It’s a marriage of aesthetics characteristic of traditional art and blockchain that produces something that is undeniably unique and special. The look and style of each token varies greatly across the different Art Blocks designs, and some have already been hailed as works of art and are finding buyers at very high prices.

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More and more, more and more expensive

Tyler Hobbs’ Fidenza line of 999 separate NFT pieces has quickly become one of the stars of the NFT collection, accounting for four of the five highest selling Art Blocks on the secondary market to date.

“Fidenza is my most comprehensive algorithm to date,” Hobbs wrote on the official Art Blocks project page. “Although the program focuses on structured curves and blocks, the variety of scale, organization, texture, and color usage it can employ creates a wide range of creation possibilities.” According to Texas Monthly, Hobbs’ Austin-based company spent months refining the Fidenza algorithm.

A single drop of the Fidenza project was going down in June at 0.17 ETH apiece – about $400 at the time – and sold out in 28 minutes. Since then, values have risen quickly Here’s a good example from OpenSea: on July 13, Fidenza #284 sold for 7.5 ETH ($23,400), on July 19 for almost 18 ETH ($56,200), and then sold again on July 24 for 20 ETH (about $62,500). It is now valued at 312 ETH ($1,226,484).

Whether it will sell for that amount remains to be seen, but there has been a recent precedent for a high-end Fidenza sale. Along with a $3.3 million sale on Monday, another Fidenza sold for 777 ETH ($2.4 million).

Fidenza isn’t the only Art Blocks collection to surpass $1 million through a single NFT sale. Dmitry Cherniak’s Ringers project has recorded six sales just above that threshold, including three that were made in late August. Kjetil Golid’s Archetype project also scored a pair of seven-figure sales, and Art Blocks founder and CEO Erick Calderon’s original Chromie Squiggle drop is responsible for the second highest single sale of Art Blocks worth nearly $2.44 million ETH.

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“Overwhelming” growth of Art Blocks

Given the pace of Art Blocks’ growth, it’s understandable why Calderon described the recent growth as “overwhelming.” That’s a lot of money combined with a lot of sudden demand. The $429 million in trading volume over the past 30 days represents the vast majority of what Art Blocks has generated to date, and doesn’t rank too far behind the $497 million associated with CryptoPunks over the same period.

“Art Blocks Curated is the most closely monitored offering in the Art Blocks product suite. Submissions are made by individual artists or collaborators and approved before going live by a curatorial committee. These highly innovative releases by renowned artists reflect astonishing beauty and innovation both artistically and technically,” reads the OpenSea website.

There are currently 140 collections under the Art Blocks Curated banner, but that’s not all. Art Blocks Playground is a symbol under which artists can publish additional projects with less rigorous oversight, while Art Blocks Factory is another label with more relaxed requirements for artists.

In total, there are about 99,000 NFTs bearing the Art Blocks name, although the Playground and Factory labels don’t usually bring in as much money from aftermarket sales.

The Art Blocks community has its enthusiasts and brings together a lot of collectors. Some seem to appreciate Art Blocks, or blockchain-generated graphics mode in general, for the art itself. But amidst the recent surge in general NFT market activity, there is now also a speculative frenzy around Art Blocks.

Many Art Blocks drops have had relatively low minting fees for a long time, resulting in many, unprecedented secondary market situations. For example, the NFT Fidenza, which sold last week for 1,000 ETH ($3.3 million), traded for 0.58 ETH ($1,400) on the same day. Someone minted it relatively cheaply and then made a quick profit by selling it… then the buyer resold it two months later for 1,724 times more ETH. Given the demand and the rapid pace of appreciation, Art Blocks’ declines are increasingly looking like propositions that speculators find hard to pass by.

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The frenzy surrounding Art Blocks has pushed up the price of Ethereum gas: “While we love to see the platform grow, we recognize that the days of drops have been a source of network congestion and frustration for collectors” – <a href=”https://medium.com/the-link-art-blocks/a-few-approaches-to-project-drops-4b8da0d13512″ targe

t=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>wrote

the Art Blocks team in a July 28 blog post.

Art Blocks has recently experimented with other methods of selling, including a Dutch auction format that starts with a higher price and then gradually decreases until it sells out. But that hasn’t slowed demand. Eccentrics 2: Orbits

, a project by artist Radix, sold all 500 copies in about four minutes at 5 ETH (about $16,000) each, generating $8 million from the base sale.

As in the traditional art world, speculation comes with the territory. They are currently being driven largely by the bull market around the NFT sector. Art Blocks is not the only “non-avatar” NFT generative art project. Many artists profit from selling non-generative NFT graphics through marketplaces like SuperRare and Nifty Gateway.

Nevertheless, the wild success of Art Blocks graphics suggests a progressive maturation of the NFT market, with a diverse range of highly successful projects reaching potentially unique audiences.

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