Understanding the Major Differences Between NFTs and Traditional Art

Understanding the Major Differences Between NFTs and Traditional Art

What is NFT?

NFTs stand for non-fungible tokens. NFTs are a type of digital currencies that have the ability to hold data or digital information on them in the form of media files such as audio, video, or other formats. NFTs are known for enabling digital proprietorship using blockchain technology. NFT issuers can publish unique media or renditions in the form of DeFi products that represent legal rights to the original creator or buyer.

NFTs are hosted on blockchain networks that operate in a decentralized manner. Investors can purchase NFTs by participating in online auctions or NFT marketplaces. At the same time, NFTs have other use cases such as monetizing digital products in games or virtual real estate, etc.

What is Traditional Art?

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Traditional art traces back its origin to the beginning of human consciousness. The first traces of artwork can be traced back to 52 thousand years ago on the Indonesian Island Borneo.

The creation of human artwork is often attributed to the evolution of the human mind and the development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which introduced the ability in humans to form language and ability to tell stories.

With the passage of time, different civilizations popularized art movements such as the Renaissance during the 14th century. In the same manner, Mesoamercian civilization, Egyptian history, Babylonian duration, Sumerian heritage, and various other ancient civilizations have left behind a legacy of unique artwork that tells the tale of their rituals and social structures.

In the modern world, art movements evolved at an individual scale with artists such as Picasso, Van Gough, Salvador Dali, Georges Seurat, and Da Vinci morphing the art sector in new directions.

Digital Transformation of Traditional Art

The Traditional art market has remained exclusive to a particular class and social circles for centuries. However, with the arrival of the digital age artwork has started to become more accessible among mainstream consumers. It is sufficient to state that digital platforms have served as a bridge to make traditional artwork available within the reach of the greater diameter of audiences.

At the same time, artists have been able to leverage the latest technologies, tools, and programming options available at their disposal to invent new formats of art.

With the latest technologies, artists have stepped out of the bounds of traditional canvas and generated 3D artwork and even used their skills to design and decorate VR and AR projects. At the same time, digital marketplaces and social media forums have made artwork more accessible to a wider and international audience.  

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NFTs in the Art Sector

The digitization of traditional art has made it more accessible for a bigger end user. However, it has also created issues such as copyright violations and illegal art deals. This issue is resolved through NFTs. NFTs allow the original artists to reserve the digital rights to print and sell their work with legal protection and backing. Artwork that is present in the form of NFTs is still viewable for all users.

However, NFTs allow the original artists to sell the legal proprietorship rights of their work at a suitable market value. At the same time, NFTs enable artists to monetize their products in a digital format. It is important to note that NFTs are non-fungible which means that they are interchangeable like cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

The market value of an NFT is determined by factors such as its cultural capital and rarity etc. At the same time, NFTs add utility for various industries such as gaming, dApps, metaverse, virtual real estate, music, and art sector.

NFT Vs Traditional Art

  • NFTs exist in the digital realm while traditional artwork is present in tangible form.
  • NFTs grant digital proprietorship while traditional artwork is added to the fixed asset and luxury goods reserves.
  • NFTs ensure rarity via digital infrastructure while traditional artwork has nominal replicas.
  • NFT authenticity is warranted by blockchain verification meanwhile traditional artwork is checked by trained art experts.
  • Artwork in the form of NFTs can be traded with relative ease on digital mediums while traditional artwork requires time, effort, money, and skills to transfer and store.
  • NFTs are secured on blockchain networks and wallet accounts but traditional artwork requires incubated space and security for safety.
  • NFT trades are recorded and based in the form of smart contracts while traditional artwork trades are transcribed in paper contracts.


NFTs are sometimes considered the next evolution of art products. However, NFTs have various limitations when it comes to fair distribution, copying, and profit sharing. On the other hand, the traditional art market remains an exclusive and elite industry.

Author: Isacco Genovesi

Isacco writes news articles, reviews and guides about cryptocurrencies including technical analysis, blockchain events, coin prices marketcap and detailed reviews on crypto exchanges and trading platforms.

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