Non-Fungible Tokens, widely renowned as NFTs, have taken the world by storm. Online digital products have become widely popular, especially for artists.
Non-fungible entails the convertibility or exchangeability of a product or art whereas a Token refers to the identity of the NFTs in the blockchain.
An NFT is a digital asset that can represent digital or real-world objects like art, music, in-game items, and videos. They are bought and sold online, and they are generally encoded for tracking sales.
The digital asset has been touted as a significant solution for artists of diverse art types since they are stored on a digital ledger that is publicly accessible and immutable – providing visibility of the transfer history of specific NFT from art to music. It enables creators and a buyer to see who created the NFT and who purchased it. Users can also see the people who have owned it and for how long.
NFTs recorded some of the highest sales in October 2021 after CryptoPunk sold for $532 million, the Merge by Pak. It was sold for $91.8 million on Nifty Gateway in December 2021.
Kenya has seen its fair share of the NFT craze, with Eliud Kipchoge becoming the first Kenyan to launch and sell his own set of NFTs on the Ethereum Blockchain. The set of digital assets, which was backed by Momentible saw it raising over $30,000 in revenue.
A game-changer that seeks to revitalize NFTs in the African setting is Kasuku NFT, a new entrant in the African market that promises to ensure artists are better and more fairly compensated for their work.
The digital art marketplace was founded in Kenya by Mowgli Dodhia, who reveals that the platform was inspired by his family who is artists, and the struggle of local artists who rarely earn enough from their pieces of art whereas the artworks would be sold in Art Galleries across the world for much more money.
“Kasuku, the Swahili word for the African grey Parrot, one that is often caged, in this case, it’s an ideal name for our marketplace as it represents the artists who often find themselves caged by the industry, be it record labels or galleries. We envision empowering the artists, helping them to go global, and letting them soar, like a free Kasuku,” said Mr. Mowgli Dodhia Founder of Kasuku NFT.
Kasuku NFT is customized for African Creatives considering the never-ending uphill battle in the creative industry as the artists have few opportunities to showcase their talents and earn handsomely from their talents. Some are paying commissions of up to 40% or receive royalties smaller as compared to developed world artists.
NFTs, according to Mowgli, empower artists to reach a wider audience and have a community of like-minded creators, which in turn allows them to get more sales and grow their audience authentically.
The artworks if taken to the global stage would rack in more millions while the artist is not able to know nor be known by the purchaser of the arts whereas, through Kasuku NFT, the artist will be able to earn more and get a bigger audience.
“NFTs enable the artist to prove the Intellectual Property provenance through a time stamp that is available on the blockchain which allows for proof of being the first developer of a certain painting or picture. Kasuku will also enable geo-stamping so that even the artists and their work can be searched according to their location” adds Mowgli.
NFTs do involve smart contracts that allow for the doing of multiple things like the separation of funds through codes that is one can see all the data about a token and apply it like a legal contract though now in the blockchain. This also allows for use cases such as royalties, allowing the artists to earn consistently.
Artists benefit more from the use of NFTs in trading as they are able to be their own brand that is able to sell on social media platforms, also they get offered a chance to claim and actually own their royalties of the art, music, pictures, or any form of art.
“NFTs are the perfect solution to these challenges, and as Kasuku we’ll only charge 2.5 percent commission, while the artists will get 97.5 percent of the money,” said Mr. Mowgli.
African artists are slowly embracing the NFTs despite their essence in protecting their rights and their creative products which is empowering the artist to genuinely own and track the productivity of their art globally.
“The future for creatives is rapidly changing, NFTs seem like an extremely viable option that ensures fairer conditions for artists, as well the ability to reach a wider audience.”
Kasuku seeks to work with various partners to ensure that the customers and artists can interact better as it offers the linking of both the artist and art buyer to interact as a community which enables an ecosystem that mutually benefits.
“Moreover, Kasuku is going to ease the process of acquiring an NFT through its platform without one having to go through the whole complicated tech process. As it integrates mobile money operators that will allow a user just to sign in and join as well as trade-in through the locally available money transfer platforms,” he added.
Kasuku will revolutionize trading through NFTs as it motivates collectors through incentives so that they are also rewarded for actions such as purchasing from a new artist. This is to create a symbiosis of mutual benefit that allows for more exchanges through the platform and wider audience reach especially to the whole of Africa and the globe.
“For us, it’s enhancing what blockchain is all about; transparency and immutability” explain Mr. Mowgli.
Kasuku aims at being easily discoverable, including free daily features for new artists inclusive of an ability to advertise on the platform for artists. Also offering curated galleries for the highest quality art and institutions as well as customizable personal galleries for collectors.