Non-fungible tokens, pixelated NFT, digital artworks, digital assets, crypto art… Do these words ring bells to you? Well, the chances are high that you have heard of these new forms of art and art collections available on the internet, especially popular from 2021. They are based on groundbreaking blockchain technology and Ethereum blockchain.
Lately, they have come into the limelight of the more general public. So if you want to know more about pixelated NFT as a kind of crypto art, their characteristics, and where to find them, you are at the right place. Also, we will tackle the issue of counterfeiting, which, unfortunately, goes hand in hand with this new type of artistic creation. So, let’s get started!
Pixelated NFT as a kind of crypto art
Crypto art is digital art written on the blockchain. It can be 2D/3D images, videos, music, etc. It is, therefore, the NFTs (= digital property titles) that contain metadata relating to art..
In crypto art, we often distinguish:
Collectibles: Art to collect, having no other uses than their artistic “beauty.” Ex: CryptoPunks, cryptoKitties, CloneX.
Utilities: Art with a utility in addition to the artistic aspect. For example, with the image of a monkey, one obtains an exclusive right of access to certain events/private sales/games or even a right to vote on the project via a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization).Ex: Bored Ape Yacht Club, Azuki
Today, the big trend is to use NFT collectibles or utilities in Profile Picture.
The PFPs: Image used as “Profile Picture.” These can be collectibles (most often) or utilities.
PFPs often represent beings (humans, animals…) cut off at the shoulders to be displayed on social networks. Mainly Twitter, but also Facebook, Insta, etc.
If your profile photo is an NFT that you have, then Twitter displays them in hexagons to distinguish them from the others, which are circles. By the way, you have surely heard of Twitter which now checks profile photos.
Known examples of crypto art?
You must have heard of CryptoPunks, Bored Apes, and maybe CloneX or Crypto Kitties. These NFT collections have been talked about a lot because they were pioneers in certain aspects, and their purchase prices have risen extremely high.
These projects (that’s what we call the collection of NFT + marketing) are the figureheads of a new current of digital art.
These are even what is called “blue chips.” This term, which comes from Poker, refers to a company considered a reliable investment in finance. It is the same nomination for an NFT, which seems like a reliable investment.
Attention, we say “reliable investment,” but there is absolutely nothing sure or reliable in the speculation on the future value of an asset. It’s the same in physical real estate and physical or digital art.
Pixelated NFT – one of the main trends in crypto art
Each artistic current has its specificities. For crypto art, there are three main types: generative Art, 3D digital art, and Pixelated Art, on which we focus here.
As far as digital art is concerned, it’s a great return to the basics of computer art: coloring pixel by pixel. But why the return of pixelated art?
Because CryptoPunks are pixelated and started fashion as pioneers
Because it’s “relatively easy” for artists to make
Because some universes of the metaverse (e.g., Sandbox, Roblox) are still in pixels like the Minecraft game.
Because a “pixelated” image is less heavy. That becomes very important when the image is registered directly on the blockchain.
What Defines Pixelated NFT?
Pixelated NFTis a form of digital art where color is implicit on individual pixels to create an image. This term was first published in 1982, although the concept has been around for at least ten years already.
Pixelated NFT is saved in file formats that use lossless data compressions, such as PNG or GIF. However, the JPEG format is not recommended due to lossy compression, which leaves artifacts in your images.
Pixelated NFT comes in two main forms, isometric and non-isometric. Isometric pixel art looks three-dimensional even though the image is still a 2D shape.
On the other hand, non-isometric pixel art shows or displays one side of an object, such as the front or top.
Buying a worthless pixelated NFT – Can an NFT be counterfeit?
A very common type of scam is to sell NFTs that claim to come from known collections but are, in fact, only copies.
For example, on OpeanSea, if I type the name “CryptoPunk,” I can come across collections that claim to be crypto punks but are not.
These are other NFTs with the same copy-pasted images of Crypto Punks.
But then, what is the difference with real crypto punks?
The real Crypto Punks were issued by the studio “Larva Labs.” Therefore, the Wallet owning the contract must be theirs (Verifiable on Open Sea then Etherscan, but it gets a little more complicated).
So if you buy an NFT from an issuer other than the official issuer, your NFT is worthless because it’s a scam.
The best way to verify the origin of a collection is to find the OpenSea link of the collection directly on the official Twitter account of the project.
Indeed, the Twitter account is more difficult to falsify because we see the number of subscribers, interactions, etc.
Why are some NFT art collections sold so expensive?
The dozens of best-known collections have NFTs selling for almost half a million dollars each. But why?
We buy a piece of history, a brand more than an image. Belonging to a specific community.
You buy an NFT from a known collection like you buy a Chanel bag or a Rolex watch.
Let’s take, for example, the CryptoPunks Collection. The Cryptopunks collection is mainly known because it is the first collection of NFTs created on Ethereum in 2017.CryptoPunks, therefore, have a pioneering positioning.
Originally, it was sold for free. That is, anyone could buy one by paying only the gas (= blockchain operating costs). As you may already know, the gas can vary from ten to several hundred dollars depending on the congestion of the blockchain.
The Crypto Punks became more well-known much later, in the summer of 2021, when the media spotlighted the work of artist Beeple.
The lucky ones who acquired a CryptoPunk at the beginning of the NFTs surely had no idea of their collection’s potential.
The value of Crypto Punks mainly comes from the fact that they are pioneers. Now, not every collection can claim to be first. They must have a lot of inventiveness to stand out and take people to a specific universe.
For example, the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection offers, in addition to the monkey image, access to private clubs, preview outings, etc.
You can compare the big collections of crypto-art to the big luxury brands. It is indeed the same principle of rarity and exclusivity that is operating. As with the art and luxury markets, the crypto-art market is highly targeted by scams and counterfeits.
How to spot a fake NFT?
How to recognize a fake NFT? This is a question that more and more people are asking as non-fungible tokens take off in the art world. While NFTs are helping to make art more profitable for many traditional and digital artists, plagiarism and counterfeits are a growing problem.
If the price of an NFT is significantly lower or higher than similar NFTs in the same collection or category, it may be a fake or a scam.
Check the authenticity of the NFT by performing a reverse image search on Google. Additionally, the platform can verify collections and their artists. In general, a blue checkmark appears next to its title if it is real work.
At the end of the day, the best way to ensure your NFT is authentic is to choose the right platform. Maybe a platform with human moderators is best.
New NFT collections, there are hundreds every day! Just as Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency, the universe is much larger than three collections of NFTs. You can look at the most recent collections, which are at the Top on OpenSea.
Otherwise, to find out about upcoming collections, follow accounts of influencers or collectors on Twitter.
Due to the sky-rocketing rise of NFTs over the last year, counterfeits are becoming increasingly common. Fakes and forgeries give creators a headache and impose issues for marketplaces. Fortunately, new proprietary tools have merged to change that.
Pixelated NFT: Can an NFT be counterfeit?
As with any other type of art or physical product in the NFT sector you will stumble upon counterfeits.
The NFT landscape, brands are trying to use their digital assets for sales and marketing purposes while protecting intellectual property and shielding their customers from unknowingly purchasing counterfeit NFTs.
The problem has become frequent that some marketplaces have developed their own tools to flag fakes. Last year, DeviantArt developed Protect. It’s an image recognition tool that automatically informs users of copyright infringement.
Another internally developed tool, SnifflesNFT, also implements image recognition, automatically triggering takedown requests on behalf of NFT artists.
Also, Rarible has addressed the issue by using a human-moderated verification system. This system links sellers and creators to social media accounts to prevent NFTs from unverified sellers from appearing in internet searches.
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