As a new year is finally upon us, it is incredible to see where technology has taken things over the past 12 months. NFTs (aka non-fungible tokens) have disrupted both the investing and art world, making headlines in 2021 for their groundbreaking utility for both creators and investors alike, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down in 2022.
In fact, NFTs just had their best year on record, generating over $23 billion in trading volume—a significant increase from less than $100 million recorded in 2020, according to data from DappRadar.
Anyone, who is able to legally prove they created content, is entitled to sell that content as an NFT. From Youtubers to entrepreneurs, the entire artist community can now take advantage of the exciting new marketplace for their digital art.
The desirability and market value of NFTs stem from their exclusivity, as their non-fungibility by definition means that NFTs are classified as one-offs. This means that, unlike other cryptocurrencies, NFTs cannot be replaced. Although one Ethereum can replace one Ethereum, nothing will replace an original Monet nor an NFT.
Since NFTs exist on the blockchain, they cut out the need for any middlemen. These digital assets have been rapidly adopted as a new form of investment over the last year or so, but their value lies not only in being an exclusive asset to revere—they also provide a way for independent creators to earn an income.
One such artistic community, in particular, has been flourishing due to the emergence of NFTs and that is Japan’s anime and manga community. Although the artistic genres have their roots back in the 12th century and rose to popularity in the 20th century, the manga and anime communities have been once again thrust in the spotlight, thanks to the emergence of NFTs.
“One Piece” is a famous manga series that published its 100th volume in September 2021. Over the last two decades, the series sold more than 490 million copies, previously setting a record for the most printed comic series by a single author. Its publisher Shueisha has selected 10 classic scenes from the series to turn into luxury prints, which are priced at nearly 500,000 yen ($4,500) each.
In September, a lottery was launched to purchase one of the 20 limited-edition prints of each illustration, attracting 3,000 entries in the first two days. With each print allowing owners to see when the artwork had changed hands via their smartphone, these art prints backed by the blockchain weren’t your traditional manga artwork. This is a prime example of how NFTs are adding further value to the anime community.
Although manga artists commonly illustrate for publications, the original drawings are often not preserved or celebrated as a legacy. NFTs provide a solution to this problem, creating a way for both anime and manga art to be appreciated, honoured, and remembered for years to come. Anime is already an internationally-recognized artistic genre that is beloved by many across the world. However, thanks to NFT technology, the genre has now been made more accessible, with creators able to distribute their creations across the globe by simply logging onto NFT marketplaces.
One company, in particular, that is fostering the anime and manga artistic community is Goku. The platform was created to build a community for anime and manga enthusiasts as a hub to share their interests. Its token aims to be the first of its kind and its platform provides a way for artists to interact with their fans directly and allow users to buy, sell, and trade NFTs. The company is also excited to launch its own line of limited-edition NFTs via OpenSea and Rarible.
Goku aims to provide a place where communities can connect over their love and passion of anime and manga art and celebrate and uphold the genre’s legacy in a way that it deserves.
Photo by Dex Ezekiel on Unsplash