Filipino artists seen to benefit from NFT art: stakeholders

Waren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 28 2022 12:55 PM

A view of a sign for an NFT (non-fungible token) ATM in a small storefront in the Financial District of New York, New York, USA, 03 March 2022. Justine Lane EPA-EFE
A view of a sign for an NFT (non-fungible token) ATM in a small storefront in the Financial District of New York, New York, USA, 03 March 2022. Justine Lane EPA-EFE

MANILA - Non-fungible tokens or NFTs could provide Filipino artists with a new tool to create, store and sell art wherever they are in the country, stakeholders and enthusiasts said on Wednesday. 

NFTs art allows artists to create digital copies of their masterpieces which are essentially one of a kind. NFT art can be bought and tracked through the internet using blockchain technology.

Filipinos who are into NFT art want more local artists to leverage on the technology.

Yield Guild Games country manager and NFT artist Luis Bueneventura benefitted from the new marketplace by being included in the world’s first ever NFT art collection on the Ethereum blockchain.

Bueneventura established Crypto Pop Art Guild, or the acronym is CPAG to help underprivileged Filipino artists. CPAG holds art workshops to help artists improve their craft and connects members with job opportunities to participate in the NFT landscape. 

"So the idea here is we are teaching these underprivileged Filipino artists how to break in to the NFT art world," he said.

Bueneventura said there are talented Filipinos in rural parts of the country that are earning up to $400 (P20,000) per month from NFT art.
 
"The idea is you can open up opportunities to them that have nothing to do with geography, or background," he said. 

The group, he said, currently has over 200 members.

Aside from the underprivileged, even kids could benefit from NFTs, Satoshi Citadel Industries co-founder and chief community officer Miguel Cuneta said. 

Cuneta said 9-year olf Sevi Agregado, who was diagnosed with autism is paying for his therapy using funds he earned from NFT versions of his artworks. 

"They gave it a try basically, they wanted to create NFTs out of his artwork, and see what the market thought of it, and used the funds to pay for his therapy," he said.

"Today he is actually one of the very successful and well-known NFT artists out of the Philippines and his work has been featured in NFT Art shows in New York, Amsterdam. All of the proceeds from his artwork pay for his therapy," he added.

Meanwhile, UBX chief information and technology officer Henry Aguda said NFTs could help boost financial inclusion in the country. 

UBX and Unionbank are already working in the space by providing banking services for NFT artists when they create and list their NFT art for sale.

"Imagine somebody in the province creating their own NFT and selling it overseas. That is phenomenal," he said. 

However, security concerns on NFT art remain a risk.

Panelists at the Management Association of the Philippines have said NFTs are practically foolproof once they are created but the storage and sale of the NFT art is still risky. 

Thieves and fraudsters use the same strategies to gain ownership of NFT art, going after passwords and security codes, or convincing artists to hand over their NFTs through social engineering. 

That is why experts have reminded those engaged in NFT and NFT art to practice cyber hygiene to protect themselves.

The use of blockchain technology to digitalize art, ensure it is one of a kind and track its movement has led to the creation of an NFT market valued at between $17 billion and $41 billion as of 2021, data showed.

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