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Women’s Day 2022: An NFT artist shares how female creators can make money from non-fungible tokens in India

NFT is a one-of-a-kind virtual currency that can take the shape of paintings, films, music, or any other type of digital production. T

nft art
An NFT artwork by Priyanka Balwa.

By Priyanka Balwa

Non-Fungible Tokens better known as NFTs are gaining traction across the world, especially within the blockchain industry. It has become a trending topic, which is here to stay as technology paves the way for a new economy and disrupts the old ways of business and trade. With celebrities as an influential brand, the goal is not limited to engagement or driving up sales, but to nurturing a market that holds the potential to discover more opportunities.

According to the analytics firm DappRadar, within the first six months of 2021, it recorded $2.5 billion in NFT sales, showing a major increase from the $13.7 million in sales during the same time in 2020. Further, according to broker discovery and comparison platform, BrokerChooser India has the most crypto owners in the world at about 100 million, compared to about 27 million in The United States and 17 million in Russia.

What are NFTs?

The acronym NFT refers to Non-Fungible Token, which explains almost everything. To begin with, ‘non-fungible’ simply states that one item cannot be exchanged for another.

In NFTs, a token is merely a certification of validity stored on a blockchain, making the currency traceable and available to all. As a result, an NFT is a one-of-a-kind virtual currency that can take the shape of paintings, films, music, or any other type of digital production. They derive value from multiple factors like scarcity, creator, uniqueness, utility and liquidity premium.

Usually, NFTs are minted in a platform where the non-fungible tokens are traded. It is known as the NFT marketplace. Minting NFTs on NFT marketplaces entails that one wants to mint NFTs from their account. Artists can sell them or display them for visitors to their NFT store. NFT marketplaces have a feature for people to mint NFTs within minutes of making the artwork.

  1. Make a Cryptocurrency Wallet – MetaMask is the most popular cryptocurrency wallet as per the number of accounts. There are other wallets as well, which are compatible with other blockchains apart from Ethereum
  2. Choose an NFT marketplace – Minting NFTs is like minting a physical coin. It can also refer to converting a digital file into a blockchain-based NFT. As a result, NFT marketplaces permit people to convert any digital file into NFTs. Collectors or women artists can display and sell NFT art for profit. Some marketplaces such as NFTically, Foundation, MakersPlace and Mintable allow people to create and launch their own NFT marketplaces
  3. Find the Best Communities – Every NFT project has three things going for it. Finding NFT communities can help artists build utility knowledge on minting NFTs for conferences, courses and personal sessions, build up a rarity with original work, build a personal community to interact and network.

Please be informed that there are a few expenses to be considered while uploading the NFT in the digital space.

First, you will be required to pay the gas fee- an expense that is common to all cryptocurrency transactions. Moreover, you also have to pay a certain amount for the site, just like those involved in listing your NFT.

However, the NFT world is still evolving, and certain platforms will allow you to pass the minting fees on to the buyer, or you can always mint an NFT backed by a blockchain with no fees.

NFT art
An NFT artwork by Priyanka Balwa

NFTs for Women Artists

Traditionally art collectors relied on galleries, auction houses, art-collecting books to get their hands on Collectables. However, today with the introduction of the high-tech NFTs available for collection, the demand for collecting art has increased significantly. 

While the rise of blockchain-based digital artwork is remarkable, most of the coveted NFT artwork has ironically been created by men. Take, for example, digital artist Mike Winkelmann, famously known as “Beeple”, made NFT history in 2021 after selling “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” for over $69 million on the art auction house Christie’s.

Alas, there are some high-profile counterexamples to break the chain of male dominance in the NFT world. Renowned Hollywood actor Reese Witherspoon announced that her production company ‘Hello Sunshine’ will develop feature films and television series based on the Ethereum NFT collection World of Women (WoW). 

NFTs are empowering female creators to wield their individuality and voices – to find target investors that resonate with their brands and art.

How to earn with NFTs?

NFT platforms provide much-needed financial stability for women, which is not easily achieved outside the virtual world.

Today there is a massive upgrade in the profiles of potential digital art-collectable buyers which in turn increases the value of the art and promotes the artists. Secondary royalties and total control on IP rights is another aspect that the artists enjoy. Consistency and level of involvement in the community is another aspect that artists control themselves, which leads to attracting more investors.

ALSO READ | The NFT you have just purchased to make a fortune may be fake – here’s why

Looking at the current industry trends, NFTs have also brought alternative digital subscription models. This means organisations have decided to use NFT as their alternative subscription model. For instance, renowned Time magazine launched a new initiative TIMEPieces which offers NFTs from 40 artists, as an alternative to Time.

How can women artists make money with NFTs?

  1. Rent your NFT: One way women artists can earn money using NFTs is through what is known as “renting”. Renting an NFT means giving it away for a fixed period of time in return for money. Renting can take place by locking NFTs into smart contracts and collecting rent. Once the period of rent is done, their NFT is automatically returned back and the transaction is closed. reNFT is one such platform that lets artists rent their NFT.
  2. Earn Royalties from your NFTs: Blockchain technology helps women artists and creative individuals to earn money from secondary sales of their art. This is done by smart contracts which help artists to keep track of how their artworks are performing.
  3. Stake your NFTs: Staking is a mechanism to secure the network from malicious actors and to keep the network safe and running along. Users of the network can stake their NFTs and tokens to secure the network and update it. In exchange for staking NFTs and locking it for a certain time, women artists can earn passive income. Platforms like Kira Network, NFTX and Only1 allow users to stake their NFTs
  4. Flip your NFTs: Flipping means to buy an NFT when it is minted and then sell it on the same marketplace for a higher price. However, this does not mean that every NFT project can be flipped. NFTs can be highly illiquid so sufficient research is paramount. 
  5. Crowdsource your Dream Projects: NFTs are a great way to get investors for artists’ dream projects. Micro investors can also contribute towards building dream projects for women artists and creators. In return they can get a share of your future revenues or any other utility can be provided based on mutual discretion.

For ‘women of tomorrow’, NFTs are shaping the future of community-led commerce and entertainment, giving an equal platform to all irrespective of their gender and financial status. NFTs are not a sprint, but a marathon. Therefore, building an NFT community for women artists is the key to sustainable industry success.

(The author is AVP-Marketing, NFTically and NFT-Artist ‘Cyber Shakti’. Views expressed are her own).

(The suggestions/recommendations around cryptocurrencies/NFTs in this story are by the respective commentator. Financial Express Online does not bear any responsibility for their advice. Please consult your  financial advisor before dealing/investing in cryptocurrencies/NFTs.)

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