Justin Blau aka 3LAU released the first ever crypto album, selling a collection of 33 NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain, generating $11.7 million in total, and changing the music industry forever. If that makes no sense, no worries. This revolution is new, but now is the time to start understanding how the art world is being turned upside down.
NFT 101 🤓
• Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital collectibles that cannot be reproduced. “Fungible” = able to be replaced, so “Non-Fungible” = not able to be replaced. Any number of NFTs can be originally created, but they are often scarce. Think fine art or sports cards, but digital.
• When a NFT is sold, the transaction is published on a blockchain which cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin also use. This creates a permanent public record and a certification of ownership that cannot be edited or erased - No silly paper that can be lost or stolen.
• NFTs can be designed for a hundred different uses, but the blockchain has unlocked the potential of digital artists like Beeple, the Banksy of digital art who just sold a single NFT for $6.6 million.
Power To The Artist 🎨
• After years of exploring the crypto world, 3LAU minted and sold the first album on the blockchain via auction. 33 winning bidders can redeem their NFT to receive unreleased music, special edition vinyl, and unique experiences with the artist. The auction’s top NFT sold for $3.6 million.
• Instead of letting a streaming platform or record label determine the price of his music, Blau went straight to his community and let them decide the value. Removing the middle man, his supporters decided his art is worth over $11 million.
• Blau has revolutionized music distribution and ownership with NFTs. To better understand the historical value of this moment, imagine the digital version of printing the first vinyl.
This is just the beginning. When artists create NFTs that give fans a piece of publishing, rewarding early supporters with royalties of songs, the music game will truly change.
- Written by Kirk Reed
March 5, 2021