If you've never heard of the startup Particle, don't worry, I hadn’t either. That's why, when I read that the company had purchased a Banksy for $12.9 million when the market value hovers between $3 and $5 million, it caught my attention. This startup wants to turn a Banksy into 10,000 NFTs with two goals. First, it allows more people to own such exclusive art. Secondly, it’s a way to monetize physical paintings without giving up the piece.
No, they won't cut it up into 10,000 pieces. Others have already done that in an attempt to create NFTs. Instead, whoever buys these NFT will own a unique digital original artwork. This raises a question that you're probably asking already: how much will it be worth? Well, it all depends on how people feel about it. As Harold Eytan, Director at Particle, put it, the value drivers in NFT depend on community and consensus.
That's not to say that there's not an initial value. As a company, Particle still needs to make money and, at the end of it all, it still paid $13 million for the original Banksy. Particle intends to recoup the cost through the initial value of the NFTs by selling 90% to the public, withholding 9%, and donating 1%. What happens after selling them? That’s up to the market.
Currently, NFTs are at the sprouting stage and some people feel skeptical about them. Many experts are even sending out words of warning, but it's different when it comes to art. After all, soup cans became all the rage in the '60s, and some experts criticized pop art back then and we can't deny the impact that artists like Warhol have had on today's art.
I, for one, agree with art historian Michael Maizels. There's no way about it; NFTs and art will find a way to coexist. After all, this isn't the first company doing this, and some big names are getting into art and NFTs. For example, Sotheby's joined a $20 million investment in Mojito, another startup that wants to democratize art collection through NFTs. As for Particle, will they recover their investment? We’ll have to wait to find out.