No wonder Grimes’ Insta bio reads ‘Crypto Queen’ (Instagram). The singer and other-worldly being made over $5.8 million in the first 20 minutes of her Crypto Art auction for her collection ‘WarNymph Collection Vol.1’.
For those wondering what Crypto Art is, let me break it down. The ‘art’ side is quite self-explanatory. And if you take a look at the collection, it’s easy to see the appeal of the works. In them, the singer’s digital “alternative psyche”, the winged baby WarNymph (and its many clones), roam around space and wield swords in post-apocalyptic battlegrounds. Some of the works are in video form, set to original music by Grimes.
The collection of 10 pieces, made in collaboration with Grimes’ brother, Mac Boucher, are in the form of NFTs. And this is where the ‘crypto’ comes into it. NFT – pronounced ‘nifty’ – stands for non-fungible-token. NFTs are a unique cryptocurrency that cannot be traded and prove ownership of the work.
Like Bitcoin, NFTs rely on a digital ledger of transactions called a blockchain. NFTs can range from digital artworks to pieces of land in online environments. While buyers may not hang the pieces on their wall, they are the sole owners of the art and can re-sell when they choose.
Grimes’ collection, listed on Nifty Gateway, contained one-of-a-kind pieces, as well as work with up to 100 copies and corresponding NFTs. The highest selling piece was a mesmerising, one-off video called 'Death of the Old' in which WarNymph cherubs wander through a Martian-esque kingdom, set to an original song. The high bidder took it ‘home’ for almost $389,000.
One of the WarNymph collection, titled 'Newborn 2', has already been re-listed since the auction on the 28th of February. The asking price is $2.5million. The piece, one of 100 identical copies, was originally sold for $20. If you’re kicking yourself for not attending the auction on time, don’t worry. We all are.
Fans are already speculating about a second NFT drop from their Crypto Queen. Excitement for the evolution of WarNymph is tangible in the Grimes universe.