The Nigerian Artists Minting NFTs

Although the NFT space in Nigeria is still small, it has the potential to propel Nigerianartists to the global stage if local digital art curators emerge in the coming years.

NFTs are all the rage this year, especially after the artist Beeple sold a digital art collage for $69.3 million through the British auction house Christie’s in March. Christie’s also announced Thursday it will be selling nine NFT collectibles known as CryptoPunks. This month, American-Senegalese R&B singer Akon launched AkoinNFT, an NFT platform to “supercharge and empower” artists and brands.

Now the trend has spread to Nigeria, where local financial institutions are banned from servicing crypto firms. This means Nigerians cannot convert digital assets to naira through traditional crypto exchanges. But that hasn’t wiped out crypto in Africa’s largest economy, thanks in part to its young and tech-savvy population. Users began switching to peer-to-peer platforms to avoid using banks and the use of crypto continues, as evidenced by how local artists like Oyewumi are embracing NFTs.

Although more Nigerian artists are entering the NFT space, they do so wary of the hype. Some Nigerian artists told CoinDesk that although minting their artwork comes with a number of advantages, they have concerns about the impact of NFTs on the art world in general.

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