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Fine Art and the NFT Buyer


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“An impressive 69% of companies surveyed said they will buy NFT art as an investment or to display in their offices and receptions.”–Paul Ebeling

Whether or not you know how they work, you must have heard about NFTs. They became extremely popular last yr after a digital artist named Beeple sold an NFT for $69.3-M online.

Many buyers of art-based nonfungible tokens, unique digital assets better known as NFTs, are in for the money, not for the art itself, a survey finds.

About 82% of NFT buyers surveyed said they were motivated by investment purposes, according to the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report released Tuesday. Of those who bought NFTs worth at least $25,000 in the past 12 months, 95% cited investment returns as the Key reason for their purchase.

The survey was conducted in January by ArtTactic, a global art market research firm based in London, on behalf of Hiscox Group, a global specialist insurer.

Findings are based on responses from 595 art buyers worldwide.

There is a significant gender divide in terms of why collectors buy NFTs.  While 96% of male buyers made their purchases for investment reasons, only 67% of female buyers are motivated by potential returns, according to the report.

The world of NFTs “is still very much a speculator’s market so we can expect many more ups and downs,” head of art and private client at Hiscox Group, said.

However, the traditional art market will continue to embrace NFT art, with major auction houses, galleries, art fairs, and blue-chip artists offering them to broaden their client base, he said.

In Y 2021, Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips sold $185-M worth of NFTs through public auctions—including the $69-M Christie’s sale of Mike Winkelmann’s (aka Beeple’s) Everydays: The First 5000 Days—having sold none in Y 2020, according to the report.

Outside of NFTs, the overall online art market has continued to mature and is no longer snapping at the heels of the art establishment but are now very much part of it.

Nearly 67% of art buyers surveyed bought art or collectibles online in the past 12 months. Among those who had purchased art online previously, more than 80% bought pieces online last yr, according to the report.

Fine art remains the Top category for online sales in the past 12 months, but decorative art and jewelry saw the biggest increases.

Buyers are growing more confident with their online purchases, especially young collectors, of which more than 30% bought their 1st artwork online, up from 14% in Y 2020. Additionally, nearly half (47%) of new art buyers, those who started buying art within the past 3 yrs made their first art purchase online, compared to 30% in Y 2020.

The online art market has become an entrance into the art world for new art buyers, many of whom have never ventured into a gallery or auction house,” the report said.

Based on the growth rate recorded in the last 2 yrs, Hiscox projected that online art sales would reach $13.5-B in Y 2021, a huge increase from the market size in Y 2020.

Have a prosperous week, Keep the Faith!

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Paul A. Ebeling, a polymath, excels, in diverse fields of knowledge Including Pattern Recognition Analysis in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange, and he is the author of "The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a highly regarded, weekly financial market commentary. He is a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to over a million cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognize Ebeling as an expert.