Notes on selling NFTs (tokenised art)

SOLD! ‘Earthbound’ on Makersplace for Ethereum

So I’ve sold several pieces of ‘tokenised’ artwork now on my Makersplace. This piece sold for only around $7 from my ‘Greenwise‘ series.

Payment is received automatically into any Ether wallet (MetaMask etc). You can also receive payment in traditional or alternative cryptos. Once bought, buyers are able to download the hi-res image file the token relates to, from the sale page. But I don’t know how long this ‘sale’ page (featuring the sold artwork) will necessarily stay on the site. I know that the record of transactions will always be associated with the token on blockchain.

What is it I’ve sold exactly? Buyers or collectors (using sites like Opensea too) may think they’re getting my original image file, but what they’re buying is the token, primarily a contract, a proof, that identifies them as the new owner of whichever file is being referenced. This is done via Ethereum. This doesn’t give them the rights or necessarily access to the actual image however, just as with art collecting.

And at present, the actual image file is not stored on Ethereum, or IPFS etc. necessarily and exclusively for them, but maybe on a traditional server at this stage (via Makersplace), so it’s wise for buyers to get hold of a copy of the image file the token is referencing. Download a copy.

As the artist, why wouldn’t I mint more NFTs for this same, exact image? Well I could but… this would just de-value the NFT I’ve now sold. I wanted this piece to be a rare edition.

Screenshot 2020-01-10 at 09.22.42

Tokenise, Tokenise

If you have a plan to create your own NFT marketplace or separate store you can use Opensea for your own NFTs (self-minted or ones you’ve collected). There, you can choose what image to reference. I’ve had a better experience at Mintbase, where, as you can see, I now have an Ade’s Press marketplace (for special edition artwork I plan to mint personally). However, Opensea is still important, and all marketplaces will show up there too. You can edit how your storefront appears there too.

The important thing, if you’re minting, is to check the new NFTs show up correctly in your Eth wallet, be this a MetaMask mobile wallet or Collectible viewer.

When tokenising artwork, I like the control and features of MakersPlace. However, it’s nice to have the alternative Mintbase option, especially since Makersplace limits how many files per month you can upload.

[Note: any new owner of my artwork still needs to request my permission to use images for commercial purposes.]

Show me the Original File

If the owner of a token would like the original artwork file in high-res format, Makersplace has the best feature for this.

With personally-made stores, there’s less clarity over where the images are being stored. However, you could possibly contact the artist for the original file.

However, this is perhaps only until IPFS, Filecoin etc. solutions arrive properly or are fully developed and artwork (and most things) are no longer stored on any one server.

[Note: You can already use services like I’ve added an image to IPFS there. However, you need to pay for Premium to keep files ‘pinned’ permanently.

It’s likely that personal marketplace minters like Opensea and Mintbase will switch to IPFS at some point anyway.]


It’s likely that most things digital will be owned by someone. Ethereum + IPFS will be a powerful combination for owning digital artwork.

Surely Opensea and Mintbase will still need to curate some instances where tokens are being created by bad actors from content or files they have no right to.

I am not yet tokenised

Would this mean that physical artworks or un-tokenised ones will re-gain a unique, mysterious value once again, of their own? The ghosts of many artists from Van Gogh to Mark Rothko might feel relieved that contemporary fine artists would have to make their statements on a huge scale once again, to get their statements across in the real world.

Meanwhile, buckle up folks. Digital scarcity is here on planet Earth.

Please comment if you have any stories about collecting/trading NFTs or to add any technical points.

Related posts:

Happy New Year 2020 (btw) to followers of this humble blog. Thanks for staying sporadically tuned!


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