On the night of September 29, in Mexico City, Banksy ‘s work “ The Gangsta Rat ” was divided into 4,000 pieces and sold for 600 pesos each. Those responsible for this act were Cubic, a Mexican company that seeks to “democratize art”, and they did it in the following way:
The original piece belongs to the Guy Hepner gallery in New York and has a value of 120,000 dollars. Cubic managed to consign it, bring it to Mexico for its exhibition and digitize it. But instead of tokenizing the entire piece and selling it as a single NFT , where only one person with that capital would own it, they split it up so that more people could buy a Banksy at a more affordable price.
The minimum purchase is four NFT’s – or “cubes”, as the company calls them – and, on this occasion, they cost $30 each in presale. This means that, once the 4,000 NFT’s are sold, they will have a total value of 120,000 dollars and there will be a maximum of 1,000 owners of these cubes.
“In the transfer of rights that we made, it says that one cannot be sold without the other,” Andrea Zapata, co-founder and CIO of Cubic, explained to Expansión. Now, for a person to own “The Gangsta Rat” they have to go through the 50 + 1 approval of NFT’s owners. “If the entire (physical) piece is sold, by community vote, the NFTs are burned and you cash out the money.”
On the other hand, the initial value of the NFT’s is 30 dollars, but it can increase depending on the cube that it touches. For example, owning the piece containing Banksy’s signature or the rat’s eye is not the same as owning a completely white or red piece. For this, artificial intelligence and a smart contract are used so that the distribution of the cubes is completely random.
These can be sold through OpenSea and, currently, the company is developing its own application so that the value of the piece in the market can be monitored and the sale of the same NFT’s can be facilitated.
The business of crypto art
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT’s) are unique, non-forgeable virtual assets based on blockchain technology.
In other words, a digital asset contains completely different identification information than any other and therefore makes it unique, valuable and applicable to the world of art or digital collectibles, such as music or video games.
However, the tokenization of works by “Blue Chip” artists, that is, those represented by the most important galleries and considered as safe and reliable investments, such as the case of a Picasso, Miró, Andy Warhol or Banksy, is becoming a most popular trend in the art world.
For example, Takashi Murakiami launched his video game-inspired NFT collection, with an offer of $260,395 for his first work.
According to data from a study conducted by , in the second quarter of 2022, 181,153 digital assets were sold and 113,220 new ones were created. And of the total sales of NFT’s, in the gaming, collectibles, art, utilities and metaverse sector, art had a 2% increase in sales.
However, the fall in the value of cryptocurrencies had a direct impact on the average price of NFTs and, in this sector, there was a 34% drop in market value compared to the previous quarter.