Bristol VR Lab’s Dan Page took a little time to chat to resident Mark Date about his startup Here’s what went down:

Dan – Hi Mark, can you tell us a bit about what you’re up to at Bristol VR Lab?

Mark – I recently co-founded We’re creating editioned digital artworks with some of the world’s leading urban artists. Our mission is to create a new type of collectable for investors and art fans.

Dan – What kind of shape do you think will eventually take?

Mark – Being based at Bristol VR lab we’re eager to explore the creation of limited edition 3D assets that can be displayed and used in a virtual world. People are increasingly spending more time in the digital realm and we want to offer bespoke items that will make their virtual space special and stand out from the crowd. At some point this year we also plan to start work on EVE. EVE will be our ‘resident’ A.I. artist and will collaborate with established contemporary artists to produce a wonderfully strange and completely new genre of art…and…oh yes Music!  We would love to tokenize an established recording artist to make music collectible again!

Dan – Why use blockchain? What makes it so secure?

Mark – A blockchain is a distributed electronic ledger that enables digital assets (in the form of tokens) to be securely stored and tracked across its network. The ledger isn’t stored in a single location and the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. This system enables blockchain tokens to be some of the most secure and unforgeable digital assets in existence.

Dan – Where are the most popular places to buy cryptoart – how do they stand out from each other?

Mark – The two biggest digital art platforms are:

SuperRare – specialists in one off pieces based in New York

KnownOrigin – My favourite, based in Manchester, UK. They allow artists to issue multiple editions i.e. 1 of 50.

DanInceptus, a piece by Bristol-based artist Spaced Painter recently sold for 5 ETH (around $1200 USD at the time of writing) on KnownOrigin. Is that kind of price unusual for cryptoart? What are pieces going for on the most part?

Mark – I would say Inceptus sold at the higher end of the price scale, however over the last few weeks we have seen a flurry of four figure sales. First Supper, A programmable, multi artist collaboration recently sold for 103 ETH (£18,000)

Dan – What’s the point of cryptoart when some forms of digital art are so easy to copy? If I can right-click and download an image from a website, why bother to pay for it?

Mark – Great question! Authenticity and provenance play an important part in the value of art. Using blockchain tokens as proof of digital ownership we can now prove that a particular image is original and was issued directly by the artist. Whilst this doesn’t prevent copying, It can categorically prove (or not) it’s provenance and authenticity. Like a physical piece of art, a certificate of authenticity doesn’t stop any unauthorized reproduction, it proves provenance – arguably where most of the value really lies.

Dan – When someone buys cryptoart, what do they usually get?

Mark – This can vary from platform to platform, the core offering is always a blockchain token (the digital proof of ownership) which links to the artwork in question. KnownOrigin and SuperRare also offer a Hi-res file that can be printed and framed. At Rendar in true ‘Street to Screen’ style, we provide a free limited edition screen print with all digital collectibles.

Dan – It sounds like you’re involved in work a little similar to another of our lab residents – Hool VR, are there any plans to collaborate?

Mark – Oh yes, we regularly share information, and it would be great to work together at some point in the future.

Dan – Have you any idea how much is currently being spent on cryptoart on a weekly basis?

Mark – The seven day volume for both SuperRare and KnownOrigin is around £24,000 with the average sale being £136. Though it’s important to point out that there are many sales that take place outside of these platforms so this could be a fraction of the total market cap.

Dan – How does one get into making cryptoart?

Mark – Well the crypto is the easy bit – the art is harder! Obviously it helps if you can produce art to a certain standard. You can then create your own token or apply to be ‘tokenized’ and listed by the marketplaces mentioned above.

Dan – Have you any tips for cryptoart to invest in now?

Mark – My favourite crypto artists right now are Xcopy and Connie Digital. Their prices have risen sharply recently, so I would recommend looking through the galleries of SuperRare and KnownOrigin to find artwork that appeals to your sensibilities and budget. You can then drill down and check the sales history and popularity of the artist. I also check on their social media to see how active they are. I’ve found some great pieces recently for as little as £10.

In April, Rendar, in collaboration with the Upfest gallery will be releasing an animated Digital collectible from O.G Street Artist Cheo. We think this would be a solid future investment. Please reach out below if you would like to know more

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