NFTs: setting the art world on fire

This week Damian Hirst has been busy setting on fire the unwanted physical artwork from his recent NFT (non-fungible token) project The Currency. This is a collection of 10,000 physical spot works, each with a corresponding digital NFT. The buyer of each artwork had until 27 July 2022 to decide which version of their artwork they wished to keep. 4,851 buyers chose the digital artwork, whilst 5,149 buyers chose to keep the physical artwork.

NFTs are a type of crypto asset and cannot be replaced by something else. NFTs exist on the blockchain and hold a unique digital signature, like a certificate of authenticity you would have for a physical piece of artwork that cannot be duplicated.

Each physical artwork produced by Damian Hirst is identified by a unique serial number. Hirst burning the physical artwork – although perhaps a little dramatic – completes the transformation of each physical piece into an NFT as the process of destroying the physical piece means that the value of the artwork is transferred and makes the corresponding NFT one of a kind.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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