Tezos draws Art Basel Miami collectors with 'generative' NFT minting

Quick Take

  • Serious art collectors at the Art Basel Miami Beach fair had the ultimate freebie — a “generative” NFT minted on the Tezos blockchain.
  • Only 2,500 of the NFTs will be minted during the week.

Serious art collectors known to frequent the opening day of the Art Basel Miami Beach fair had the ability to take something home completely for free on Tuesday — a "generative" NFT minted on the Tezos blockchain.

The Tezos exhibit at the exclusive fair featured an interactive, live-minting experience that lets visitors scan a QR code to start production of an algorithmic NFT designed by either Tyler Boswell, DistCollective or Ivona Tau.

The whole process takes about two minutes, and the work is quickly delivered to the visitor's wallet and then displayed on a large screen with information about the work's rarity. 

Blokhaus founder Mark Soares, who works with Tezos on the project, said that only 2,500 of the NFTs would be minted during the week-long fair. Similar NFTs minted at other fairs in Hong Kong and Paris have been resold on the secondary market for hundreds of dollars, he said in an interview at the exhibit, dubbed "Performance in Code: Deciphering Value in Generative Art."

"In the marketplace, Tezos has always been different in the positioning," Soares said. "What we like to showcase with Tezos is this authentic art movement that does in fact exist in blockchain and intends to get, frankly, overshadowed by these more candy-coated, hype collections that can emerge. Nothing wrong with those, but there's more to NFT art than just PFP NFTs, which tend to dominate a lot of the narrative."

Crossover effect


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He said the exhibit, developed in collaboration with art platform fxhash, was designed to onboard serious art collectors to the Tezos blockchain.

"We are still at the stage of curiosity," he said. "There's no doubt that there are collectors who are collecting NFTs here as part of their overall collection, but I'm seeing the opposite also. NFT collectors are coming in to collect other forms of art as well. And so there's like a crossover that's taking place."

Soares said he didn't expect interest in the sector to slow down in the aftermath of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX.

"I was actually talking to the fxhash folks, and this month was the biggest month they've had in terms of sales," he said. "They said that the more chaos that happens, the better they do."

Prominent artists throughout the Tezos ecosystem will be featured throughout the week in a conversation series at Art Basel that "will examine the merging of generative art algorithms and blockchain technology." The exhibit is open to the public Dec. 1-3.

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