This is an opinion editorial by Dawdu M. Amantanah, author of "The Bit On Digital Coins: A Quick Practical Guide To Understanding Cryptocurrency."
The Renaissance was a time of significant advancement in human understanding. Fearless explorers began traveling across the open oceans, scientists developed new ideas, and cities exploded into important hubs of trade and culture. One of the period’s most radical changes occurred in the art world, during which artists brought back styles from antiquity and created new ones. Similarly, Bitcoin is a new technology poised to make radical changes in every facet of our lives.
The famous artist Donatello trained as a goldsmith but was one of the best-known sculptors of the Renaissance era. A host of artists in the Bitcoin ecosystem, like Brekkie Von Bitcoin, create art that is a record of the times and a call to action through sculptures. The Renaissance era brought forth compelling examples of art and revolution; Bitcoin is doing the same in parallel with renaissance-like developments mirroring the explosions in philosophy, literature, music, science and technology at the dawn of this digital revolution.
Many say art is subjective, but the Bitcoin ecosystem’s creativity in art is groundbreaking and unique. Whether through sculpting, oil painting or portrait making, Bitcoiners are splicing technology into art, creating something new. It is a sort of “proof of paint,” relaying the message that Bitcoin is a paradigm-shifting technology that should be celebrated through art and self-expression; proof of work is in full swing.
During the Renaissance, the printing press gave information to people all around the world at then-unprecedented levels. The printing press boosted literacy, art and education for millions. Ideas transcended borders, and the gold-backed florin coin lasted 281 years, changing serfdom, commerce and stores of value across Europe. Now here we are once again, in the 21st century with the digital printing press, aka the internet, dismantling the need for higher education and ushering in magic internet money, aka bitcoin, which is demonetizing gold and eliminating the need for central banking.
Have you ever wondered why art and architecture are no longer produced in such a lavish way with attention to detail? Dr. Saifedean Ammous postulates in “The Bitcoin Standard” that this is because centuries ago, the people of the world had hard money as the basis of their flourishing civilization. People then could put time and energy into actual productivity (including creating masterful works of art) because their sound money did not bind them to an ever-growing hamster wheel. With an increase in meddling by states and banks, our money lost quality and gained quantity, and so did art. But this doesn’t have to be.
Proof Of Paint
Bitcoin will demonetize economics through code, energy and hash functions, but it is also dematerializing art for the right-brained dominant bitcoin enthusiasts. There are too many to name here, but artists like Marcus Connor, the creator of The Bitcoin Roller Coaster Guy, have been seen by millions of people and, in some cases, may be the creators of the first Bitcoin art people are exposed to.
One of my favorite Bitcoin artists goes by the name Proof of Paint, who is a master at infusing his paintings with a sense of depth and his human figures a sense of warmth using luminous color. His “Sister Of The Coin” piece is etched using fine art paper. Proof of Paint has partnered with Blockstream to showcase his art, where each of his paintings tells a story that brings the viewer closer to understanding Bitcoin. The Sister’s theme is a play on the Three Graces with a Bitcoin spin, depicting the idea of the divine forces that assist man and oversee all from above for his good fortune and prosperity. They are protectors of our aspirations and dreams.
The cypherpunk moment is still alive and well in the Bitcoin art scene. FractalEncrypt is a “cypherpunk artist infusing software, math, art, tech and chemistry into biological interfaces.”
When you think about art and low time-preference, one-of-one art pieces increase over time as people bid over its collective intentionality. There are cases where art is duplicated or plagiarized which leads to my point that two things in the universe are absolutely scarce — time and bitcoin.
The art created by Bitcoiners will outlast other forms of artistic expression solely because of the longevity of the subject at hand, as new issuance of bitcoin won’t cease until 2140. Attention to detail is everything when creating art. The Bitcoin Magazine article entitled “Decoding The ‘Bitcoin Full Node Sculpture,’ A Cypherpunk Chronometer” goes into full detail about how different creative forms of bitcoin art can be. Artwork’s value is determined by its supply and demand, and there is a limited supply of artwork on the market at any given time, which makes art expensive.
Some of these bitcoin pieces are rare, and the people collecting them are from all walks of life, including high net worth individuals like the CEO of MicroStrategy, Michael Saylor, who bought a Full Node Sculpture in April 2021. Also, it’s very common that if an artist’s work has been owned by influential collectors or shown in an important gallery, it will positively influence its price.
Michael Saylor often says that “Bitcoin is hope” — which it is, but Bitcoin, for many, is a second win, and that goes for artists all over the planet. It is more valuable than legacy systems because of the monetary autonomy it brings to its users. Bitcoin seeks to address the root problem with conventional currency: trust. Artists seek to address the root problem with artistic expression that conveys a message: Art is influential because it can potentially influence our culture, politics, and even the economy. When we see a powerful work of art, we feel it touching deep within our soul, giving us the power to make real-life changes.
This is why Bitcoin is so important. The Bitcoin protocol started in 2009 and, like most renaissance periods, took time for artists to onboard into their passion for creating visual masterpieces that reflect their love for art. The digital currency bitcoin is changing so many aspects of our society; when people realize it, articles like this will resonate differently. Thanks to Bitcoin, art is making another comeback.
This is a guest post by Dawdu M. Amantanah. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.