Banksy artwork destroyed and then sold for $400 000 as NFT


Crypto-art or NFTs are all the buzz right now with major celebs cashing in on the craze from Grimes to Kings of Leon, Jack Dorsey, Lindsay Lohan and the creator of the Nyan Cat GIF.

The latest artist to have their work sold as an NFT is Banksy. But it wasn’t Banksy himself who auctioned off his work – a crypto firm by the name of Injective Protocol did.

The blockchain group bought and destroyed an original, physical Banksy artwork titled Morons (White) – a piece depicting an auction for a painting that reads, “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this sh*t”.

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Injective Protocol reportedly purchased the original Banksy for $95,000 before burning it in order to make its existence completely digital in the form of an NFT (non-fungible token).

However, as Dazed & Confused Magazine writes, the Banksy print, Morons (White) that the group chose to make their statement with is actually one of an edition of 500, meaning they haven’t actually removed the physical artwork from existence. However, that didn’t seem to affect the decision of potential buyers as the NFT artwork was auctioned off for 228.69 ETH or roughly $380,000 at purchase, this week.

The group of self-proclaimed “tech and art enthusiasts” livestreamed the destruction of the print through the Twitter account BurntBanksy. In the video below, a member of the anonymous group explains: “If you were to have the NFT and the physical piece, the value would be primarily in the physical piece.”

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“By removing the physical piece from existence and only having the NFT, we can ensure that the NFT, due to the smart contract ability of the blockchain, will ensure that no one can alter the piece and it is the true piece that exists in the world. By doing this, the value of the physical piece will then be moved onto the NFT.”

The group says they hope their initiative will “inspire” technology enthusiasts and artists to “explore a new medium of artistic expression.” The group’s spokesman, Mirza Uddin said the proceeds from the sale of the NFT will be donated to COVID-focused charity.

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