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Jun 29, 2022

Utility vs Art NFTs

Entering the NFT environment can be confusing due to the neverending variety and possibilities; when discussing NFTs it’s important to properly distinguish and assess between a Utility NFT and an Art NFT

What is the difference between an Art NFT and a Utility NFT?

Art NFTs are tokens that certify who owns digital art. This is especially meaningful as it is so easy to pirate digital art. In the web 2.0 era digital art was generally viewed as worth nothing, with music needing to be free, and movies narrowly escaping the same fate. Utility NFTs differ greatly where ownership of the NFT either gives you access, other NFTs, rewards in a crypto token, or something else of value. In a nutshell, Utility NFTs essentially have value in the things they can get you, Art NFTs give value in owning an artist's work. 

It is hard to speculate on what NFTs originally were meant to solve, but they certainly found a home in the digital art world. However, projects are increasingly working on utility based tokens even if they are art NFTs as the value of those NFTs can be explosive if the items provided by the NFT are desirable. This trend is certainly increasing as more and more companies are giving their NFTs real life value such as: discounts at their establishments, access to private parties, exclusive merch, and other perks. Lately there has been a huge shift to where only utility NFTs have any fair chance of getting hyper adopted, but art NFTs still have value and shouldn't have to have utility. 

Traditional art and NFTs are not as different from each other as people assume. When someone speaks about the Mona Lisa and it’s importance it is common knowledge that the painting is not only kept somewhere safe but even though it is one of the most, if not the most, famous painting in the world the only copy that matters is the original. That is the only one that holds value. That being said the same goes for NFTs; someone can screenshot a Chromie Squiggle NFT but if they are not the actual owner then no one cares. Additionally a jpeg may just be a jpeg but art is just paint and canvas; neither have any value until they are given value either by spectators or society in general. 

Utility NFTs are certainly more of the rage but projects are often making vague promises, hoping to raise tons of money, and then they will come up with a plan to deliver that value back to their holders. This task is very difficult and can really only be done by the top teams in the space. Which brings back the value of good art NFTs. Art NFTs allow you and only you to hold ownership of something beautiful that likely took an artist lots and lots of time to make. 

As people spend more time on their phone and on the internet, there is certainly room for both kinds of projects to exist and thrive. It is important to understand that NFT technology can power ownership incredibly well, and their use cases will likely quickly exceed just art, utility, or a combination of those things. Curios has the technology to bring your wildest ideas for NFTs to life and is happy to hear about how we can bring your project or idea to life.