In July last year the British artist Damien Hirst started a project called Currency, which consisted of creating 10,000 NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) which each corresponded to a work created by him in 2016. The works, a series of paintings with colored dots, were put up for sale by drawing lots for a value of 2000 pounds each. Buyers of the works, however, had a year to make a choice: stick with the physical version and have the corresponding NFT assigned to an inaccessible address, or stick with the NFT and have the physical version burned.
Now, a year after the start of the project, the decisions have already been made and the results, released by the artist a little while ago, were balanced: 5,149 opted for the physical versions while 4,851 opted for the NFT versions. This means that, to complete the project and do what Hirst set out to do in the beginning, he will burn each of the 4,851 physical versions this coming autumn. It is noteworthy that 1,000 units of the works were kept by himself, who had to go through, like the buyers, the choice.
“At first I thought of choosing half of the NFT and half physical versions, then I thought of opting for all the digital versions and then I went back to paper. In the end, I decided that I myself had to believe completely in the power of digital and chose the 1000 NFT versions, even if it means I have to burn the corresponding physical works”, said the artist in a video about the project.
The aim of the project was to play with the issue involving art, money, value and digital. “I never really understood money. All these things: art, money, commerce are ethereal, based only on beliefs and trust. In all, the Currency has made over £89m in profit, not counting the value of NFTs on secondary markets. If Hirst doesn't quite understand money, at least he's still good at making it.