Disrupting the art market? Blockchain, NFTs and the promise of inclusion

Silvana Colella


The market for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), a nascent phenomenon, has garnered widespread attention since early 2021. This article focuses on the stories, narratives and discourses that have taken shape concomitantly with the growth of the NFT market and are an integral part of its life. After reviewing the features of the contemporary art market, frequently described as “ripe for disruption”, the focus shifts to the characteristics and promises of the NFT art market, delving into success stories that celebrate individual empowerment, inclusion and community building as the nonfinancial values of NFTs. The final section considers the skeptical perspectives of cultural critics and artists who decry the NFT phenomenon as the latest frontier of capitalist financialization. The statistics economists have gathered and analysed are also taken into account to further clarify the NFT discursive dimension. Whether the craze for NFTs is an ephemeral bubble or a disruptive innovation remains to be seen.

Il mercato dei token non-fungibili (NFT) è un fenomeno emergente che ha catturato l’attenzione pubblica soprattutto a partire dal 2021. Questo articolo analizza le storie, le narrative, i discorsi che sono parte integrante della grande crescita di questo mercato. La discussione prende avvio focalizzandosi sulle caratteristiche del mercato dell’arte convenzionale, un mercato opaco, esclusivo e strano, come viene spesso decritto, per poi procedere alla disamina delle innovazioni e delle promesse del mercato NFT, incentrata su storie che celebrano l’empowerment individuale, l’inclusione e l’ethos comunitario come valori non monetari associati agli NFTs. La sezione finale si concentra su posizioni più critiche o scettiche che leggono il fenomeno NFT come la nuova frontiera del capitalismo finanziario. Per meglio contestualizzare questi discorsi, vengono prese in considerazione alcune analisi economiche basate su dati recenti. 


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13138/2039-2362/2946

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