Art Goes Crypto

Art Goes Crypto

The art world has long been regarded as a stodgy traditional institution that is merely a place for the wealthy. Rapid changes in the technological sphere are now getting people in the industry to think about when these two worlds will collide.

A growing number of artists have been viewing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology as a good opportunity to investigate and experiment ideas related to value, the digital world, and abstraction.

Their ensuring works seem to be the start of a new art culture that draws inspiration from popular virtual currencies like Bitcoin.



One of the better-known examples of ‘crypto art’ is Kevin Abosch’s Stealing The Contents of This Wallet Is A Crime.


The piece was part a project called ‘I AM A COIN.’ The project had Abosch creating 10 million ERC-20 ‘IAMA’ coins. 100 of them were stored “in” the aforementioned artwork, which was publicly displayed until the tokens were stolen.


This is a work of an artist from San Francisco whose pseudonym is Cryptograffiti. He is famous for including QR codes in his street art around 2011 so appreciative passersby could donate, or send “micropayments,” to help fund his work. One of his works is Hodl. It’s a serigraph printed on a Federal Reserve bag.

Sometimes works like that can be beneficial. One of the Cryptograffiti’s serigraphs was later sold at auction for $8,000 to crypto connoisseur Mike Novogratz. At a separate auction, cryptograffiti had a piece called “Terrible Store of Value” sell for $33,000.

The work was intended as a response to when JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin “a terrible store of value” in January 2014.

It depicts Dimon in a “disintegrating state, mirroring the public’s trust towards traditional banking institutions.” The work itself acts as a store of value via an integrated bitcoin wallet. Value can be added, stored and removed from the piece at will without the oversight of any central authority. Furthermore, the artwork is certifiably authentic via the blockchain - one of many innovations brought about by this technology to combat fraud.

One more painting that attracted public attention is a work by UK-based artist Terry Cook. He simply paints cryptocurrency symbols. Cook, who thinks its “natural that art and blockchain technology intersect,” saw his work Ethereum go for $2,800.


Even though some works of crypto-themed art have been fetching high prices at auction, some other artists have been more than happy to show off their creativity and talents for free.

In February, Instagram user ‘thisisludo’ posted a work of street art asserting how Bitcoin was bringing “power to the people” by sending the banking system to its death.

One more interesting artist — Pascal Boyart. He prefers to paint QR codes and get bitcoin donations from those who appreciate his art. He raised more than $1000 in digital currency.


As we see, many artists use cryptocurrencies as a source of inspiration and a way to monetize their art and deploy blockchain to protect authors’ rights and create certificates of authenticity. Technology has a huge potential we can not see fully. In any case cryptocurrencies do a lot of good for artists.