The growing adoption of NFTs and blockchain technology is set to have a major impact on Africa, the world’s poorest continent.
NFTs have been around since 2014 and are becoming more well-known and influential due to their growing acceptance as a means of buying and selling digital assets. Collectors and dealers increased their spending on NFTs from $100 million in 2020 to $22 billion in 2021, according to The Guardian.
Nigerian record label owner and producer Don Jazzy introduced NFTs into the Nigerian music industry in 2021 and in doing so earned over $300,000. He worked with a digital artist, Jacon Osinachi, who produced three art pieces, and Don Jazzy created the background music.
In October 2021, Prince Jacon Osinachi Igwe became the first African NFT artist to have his work auctioned at Christie’s auction house in Europe. This young Nigerian is now recognized as Africa’s foremost crypto-artist who creates and sells his works digitally.
Africans are delving harder into NFTs now. According to a Finder poll, South Africa is the 12th largest adopter of NFTs, and Nigeria is the 6th. According to the report, the strong interest among Africans suggests that NFT usage will more than double in these countries.
Several digital artists of African heritage established themselves in 2021 and had their work published on various platforms, including OpenSea, Foundation, Super Rare, Mintable, Wax, and many others.
You would find Incredibly talented people in Africa’s creative industries. But not all are compensated or have the resources to market their skills internationally. NFTs make it easier for creators to increase their earnings, particularly as Africa’s unemployment rate worsens.
NFTs allow artists to exhibit their work in front of a larger audience; they are no longer required to wait for customers to come in and purchase their exquisite artworks in an art gallery. NFT marketplaces make it easier to sell to potential customers interested in their art.
Going digital is important for Africans because the post-COVID-19 era will see regulations put in place to control the number of people attending galleries, conferences, and exhibitions.
Nigerian artist Jacon Osinachi stated he sold crypto art for $75,000 over ten days in March 2021. Stories like this demonstrate how NFTs may significantly increase the financial security of African artists. And in turn, it will strengthen the continent’s economy and inspire many people to pursue their artistic passions as a full-time career or a side gig.
Africans have made enormous achievements in the NFT sector, but artists and dealers still encounter several challenges.
It has been proven that NFTs can support an African artist’s livelihood. However, in the NFT market, some things are working against African artists.
One important factor is the high cost of minting NFTs. Not all artists, particularly the emerging ones, can afford to spend the $100 to $200 required to mint their work. However, some platforms assist in subsidizing or lowering the price.
When dealing with NFTs, one must take the government into account.
For crypto fans, receiving crypto into their bank accounts has become challenging in several nations. However, P2P has emerged because of the young digital population, which is probably the reason for the rise in P2P use in Africa.
Africa lacks a well-established market, but Afridex and Afen are attempting to leverage Blockchain technology to address this problem. Thus, it will prevent African artists from selling their works for a low price.
Contrary to their peers who have a significant following, artists with little to no social media presence may find it difficult to sell their work or assign a premium value to it.