Since the inception of non-fungible token (NFT), a new platform for trading artistic items was introduced into the Nigerian economy. NFTs as digital content evolved from coloured coins released in 2012 – 2013 on the blockchain. These coloured coins were used to confirm ownership of tangible assets on the blockchain. However, this gained public recognition between 2018 – 2021 before expanding into mainstream use in early 2021.
There has been increased interest in NFT, and the Nigerian economy is not left out. Report shows that 13.7% of Nigerian internet users have non-fungible tokens, above the global average of 11.7%. With 21.7% looking to acquire one. According to the survey, Nigeria is in the sixth position while Philippines and Japan have the first and last positions respectively.
However, NFTs sales and value have been reported to be on the decline. Likewise, the number of active NFTs wallets have dropped from 12,000 per day to 3,900. This is closed to 70%. Despite the decline, some Nigerian artists maintain that NFTs are now a significant part of art.
In a report, the organisers of ART X Lagos said NFTs are taking over the Nigerian art world. According to the editorial team, “As West Africa’s first international art fair, we recognise the importance of supporting the burgeoning digital art scene on the continent. Through this collaboration with SuperRare, we hope to provide a glimpse into the future of art-making and collection in Africa, whilst highlighting the enormous potential of NFTs in its creative ecosystems”.
Likewise, John Crain, the CEO of SuperRare, said: “We are beyond excited to partner with ART X Lagos. SuperRare and NFT artworks have been part of an international art movement since inception. This collaboration demonstrates how digital art and NFTs, in particular, democratise and facilitate access to both the global art market and also to the work of new and exciting artists from Africa”.