Every time a new digital technology is introduced, there is always vicious opposition to it. This is no different from the latest trend which has taken the world by storm in 2021.

Crypto art, slowly and then suddenly, is the new application of digital technology that has taken the world by storm with the mainstream media typically mentioning exorbitant amounts paid to buy this form of digital art. However, it isn’t exactly just digital, there’s a difference.

Let me explain.

It is only digital art in the sense that it exists in digital form, however, like real-life art, there is only one original and real version of the crypto art whose ownership can be verified. The same way Nelson Makamo or Baba Tjeko signs their pieces of art to verify authenticity despite other digital copies of the art being available on social media and other media, crypto art can be verified using a non-fungible toke (NFT).

Now, an NFT is a digital token on a cryptocurrency blockchain ledger that represents a unique ID, it also cannot be replicated. This NFT is then attached to a piece of crypto art and in turn, it is used to verify ownership of the piece of crypto art. The interesting part, and why it is exciting for creatives and the arts industry in general, is that an NFT can be attached to most digital media such as a JPEG, GIF, MP4, even music. From then on, the creator can sell the original.

At first, it’s very easy to dismiss this as a passing fad or a trend that won’t last, however, when you really think about it, this is how art works in the real world, i.e. you can own a replica, or you can own an original version.

More importantly, Africa has to participate in crypto art:

"As the NFT artistic renaissance continues to mature, it's critical that Africa's participation matches the market's appetite. As we look to millennials and generation Z’s ambition to take charge of this technology, bridging cultural art and relics into the future by digitizing and upgrading with NFT standards, ensures African cultural aspirations do not become extinct," writes Bataung Qhotsokoane as he explains why the future of artistic expression in Africa lies in non-fungible tokens.

Top Stories

🎨 The term crypto art has been coined to capture what I think is one of the greatest artistic renaissance of the 21 century. Enabled by blockchain technology, the future of artistic expression across Africa now lies in Non-fungible tokens (NFT). As the NFT artistic renaissance continues to mature, it's critical that Africa's participation matches the market's appetite. We look to millennials and generation Z’s ambition to take charge of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), bridging cultural art and relics into the future by digitizing and upgrading with NFT standards, ensures African cultural aspirations do not become extinct. Link

πŸš€ Many banks are partnering with fintech startups to help them digitalize, enabling them to expand their services and reach more customers at the same time. The digitalization of banks is an opportunity across Africa has the potential of addressing the challenges of financial inclusion and the rapid scaling up that is needed across the continent. Banks are going into a new world and need new platforms, new technology, and new architecture, the old core banking system is being surpassed and a new core banking system is needed. FinTech startups will help banks provide a better service to customers, working together and within the same regulatory framework. Link

🌍 Liquid Intelligent Technologies has announced that it has entered into a partnership with Facebook to build an extensive long haul and metro fibre network in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The proposed fibre network is expected to improve internet access for more than 30 million people. Liquid will own, build and operate the fibre network, and provide wholesale services to mobile network operators and internet service providers. The network will help create a digital corridor from the Atlantic Ocean through the Congo Rainforest, the second largest rainforest after the Amazon, to East Africa, and onto the Indian Ocean. Link

πŸ’Έ An investigation by the official opposition political party in South Africa has revealed that the Gauteng Treasury Department made a β€œblunder” by paying a service provider, Microsoft, an amount in US dollars instead of the same numerical amount in South African Rands. According to the Democratic Alliance, the department made an β€œerror” and paid an amount of $20 913 793.81 instead of the rand value of R20 913 793.81 as per e-Government payment advice, towards Microsoft. This resulted in a debit amount of R318 307 941.79 from the e-Government bank account. Link

🦠 Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, countries across Africa had their backs to the wall in the face of the magnitude of the COVID-19 virus. Only two African countries were equipped to test for the novel coronavirus: Senegal, with its Pasteur Institute, and South Africa, the most industrialized country on the continent. But now, the situation has since improved with countries across Africa developing COVID-19 testing laboratories.COVID-19 testing laboratories are helping African countries win the race against time. This was possible thanks to the financial support provided by the African Development Bank. Link

Thought of the Day

NFTs present African creatives and the arts industry with hope and an avenue to monetize their art. It is critical that Africans participate in the creation of crypto art. (Tweet this | Share on WhatsApp)

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