Over the last several years, Mike Winkelmann, also known as "Beeple", has become internet famous for his Everydays project, where he creates and posts an original piece of art every single day. Recently, his entries have taken the form of these disturbingly realistic, often grotesque, sci-fi scenes inspired by the news. Mike has now been making and posting one image a day like this for over 13 years, which means his body of work totals more than 5000 images.
But for most of his working life, Mike hasn't made money directly off this art. He's been a web designer and worked as a freelance digital artist for music video and concert visuals for performers like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Digital art hasn't really been able to find purchase in the broader art market.
That is, until about four months ago. That's when Mike found out about a new kind of blockchain technology that has been rippling through the digital economy: NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. NFTs are like certificates of ownership — unique barcodes that can't be duplicated — that can be attached to all sorts of digital files and make them into exchangeable assets. Mike's story offers a window into how NFTs are on track to dramatically reshape the art market. On The Indicator, we tell the story of how Mike Winkelmann dipped his toes into the NFT art market and started making huge sums of money there.
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