This is an opinion editorial by Dawdu M. Amantanah, author of “The Bit On Digital Coins: A Quick Practical Guide To Understanding Cryptocurrency”.
The Renaissance was a period of significant progress in human understanding. Intrepid explorers began to travel across the oceans, scientists developed new ideas, and cities exploded into important centers of commerce and culture. One of the most drastic changes of the period occurred in the art world, during which artists brought back styles from antiquity and created new ones. Likewise, Bitcoin is a new technology poised to bring sweeping changes to all facets of our lives.
The famous artist Donatello trained as a goldsmith, but was one of the best-known sculptors of the Renaissance. A host of artists in the Bitcoin ecosystem, like Brekkie Von Bitcoin, to create art that is a record of the times and a call to action through sculptures. The Renaissance era brought compelling examples of art and revolution; Bitcoin is doing the same alongside revival-like developments mirroring explosions in philosophy, Literature, music, Science and Technology at the dawn of this digital revolution.
Many say art is subjective, but the artistic creativity of the Bitcoin ecosystem is revolutionary and unique. Whether through sculpture, oil painting, or portraiture, Bitcoiners combine technology with art, creating something new. It’s a kind of “painting proof,” relaying the message that Bitcoin is a paradigm-shifting technology that should be celebrated through art and self-expression; proof of work is in full swing.
During the Renaissance, the printing press gave information to people all over the world on unprecedented levels. The printing press stimulated literacy, art and education for millions of people. Ideas transcended borders and the gold-backed guilder coin lasted 281 years, changing serfdom, trade and stores of value across Europe. Here we are again in the 21st century with the digital printing press, aka the Internet, dismantling the need for higher education and ushering in magic Internet money, aka bitcoin, which demonetizes gold and eliminates the need for central banking.
Have you ever wondered why art and architecture are no longer produced in such lavish and detail-oriented ways? Dr. Saifedean Ammous posits in “The Bitcoin Standard” that it is because centuries ago the peoples of the world had hard money as the basis of their flourishing civilization. People could then devote time and energy to real productivity (including the creation of masterful works of art) because their solid money did not tie them to an ever-growing hamster wheel. With increased state and bank interference, our money has lost quality and gained in quantity, just like art. But it doesn’t have to be.
Bitcoin will demonetize the economy through code, energy and hash functions, but it is also dematerialize art for right-brained dominant bitcoin enthusiasts. There are too many to name here, but artists like Marcus Connor, the creator of The Bitcoin Rollercoaster Guyhave been seen by millions of people and in some cases may be the creators of the first bitcoin art that people are exposed to.
One of my favorite Bitcoin artists goes by the name Paint Proof, who is a master at giving his paintings a sense of depth and his human figures a sense of warmth by using luminous colors. Her piece “Sister Of The Coin” is engraved using fine art paper. Proof of Paint has partnered with Blockstream to showcase his art, where each of his paintings tells a story that brings the viewer closer to understanding Bitcoin. The theme of the Sister is a play on the Three Graces with a bitcoin spin, illustrating the idea of divine forces assisting man and watching everything from above for his good fortune and prosperity. They are the protectors of our aspirations and our dreams.
The cypherpunk moment is still alive and well in the Bitcoin art scene. FractalCrypter is a “cypherpunk artist infusing software, math, art, technology and chemistry into biological interfaces”.
When you think about art and low time preference, unique artwork increases over time as people bid on its collective intentionality. There are instances where art is duplicated or plagiarized, which leads me to say that two things in the universe are absolutely rare – time and bitcoin.
The art created by Bitcoiners will outlast other forms of artistic expression solely because of the longevity of the subject matter, as new bitcoin issuance will not cease until 2140. Attention to detail is paramount when artistic creation. Bitcoin Magazine’s article titled “Decoding the ‘Bitcoin Full Node Sculpture,’ a Cypherpunk Stopwatch” explains in detail how different creative forms of bitcoin art can be. The value of an artwork is determined by its supply and demand, and the supply of artwork in the market is limited at any given time, which makes art expensive.
Some of these bitcoin coins are rare and the people who collect them come from all walks of life, including wealthy people like MicroStrategy CEO Micheal Saylor, who bought a Full Node sculpture in April 2021. Also, it is very common that if an artist’s work has been held by influential collectors or exhibited in a prominent gallery, this will positively influence its price.
Micheal Saylor often says that “Bitcoin is hope– which it is, but Bitcoin, for many, is a second win, and that goes for artists everywhere. It is more valuable than legacy systems because of the financial autonomy it provides to its users. Bitcoin seeks to solve the fundamental problem of conventional money: trust. Artists seek to solve the fundamental problem with artistic expression that conveys a message: art is influential because it has the potential to influence our culture, our politics, and even our economy. When we see a powerful work of art, we feel it touching deep within our soul, empowering us to effect change in real life.
This is why Bitcoin is so important. The Bitcoin protocol began in 2009 and, like most Renaissance periods, took time for artists to settle into their passion for creating visual masterpieces that reflected their love for art. The bitcoin digital currency is changing so many aspects of our society; when people realize that, articles like this will resonate differently. Thanks to Bitcoin, art is making another comeback.
This is a guest post by Dawdu M. Amantanah. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.