Art Blocks – What are they?
Art Blocks was created by generative artist, Erick Calderon of Houston, Texas in 2018. Calderon had always wanted to be an artist but lacked the ability to draw anything. Instead, he pursued coding and learned to program visual outputs. He began to sell his collection of Cryptopunks to pay developers to help him build a collaborative art project that would create unique NFTs. This would become known as Art Blocks.
The first project launched in November 2020 and due to its success, Art Blocks was established as a corporation in February 2021. To date, there are over 150 projects that have been curated through the Art Blocks Website, and some of the more popular NFTs have sold for the equivalent of millions USD. These collections all fall under three basic categories:
- Art Blocks Curated – The collections under this project are selected by Art Block’s curation board. Popular projects in this category include Fidenza and Chromie Squiggle.
- Art Blocks Factory – The collections under this category are non-curated but still allow some artists to create generative art through the platform. Popular projects in this category include Dino Pals and Fragments of an Infinite Field.
- Art Blocks Playground – The collections in this category have been created by artists who have created in the curated category. The difference is that the current project hasn’t been selected by the curation board. Popular projects in this category include The Eternal Pump and Meridian.
When minting an NFT from a new project on artblocks.io, buyers will receive random combinations of the pre-defined variables within the project. This will create a new piece of generative artwork that will be linked to the buyer through a smart contract.
As Art Blocks as a whole is an ongoing project, they have continually tweaked their system to make it more sustainable and fair. One example is that they switched to a Dutch auction system to help prevent flippers from purchasing all the NFTs. That being said, there are still gas wars that often happen around new releases.
How to Buy an Art Blocks NFT
You can find the quick steps of how to buy your first Art Blocks NFT. If you are a complete beginner we would recommend reading our How to Buy NFTs article.
Create a web3 MetaMask wallet
The first thing you’ll need to do when purchasing NFT collectibles is to create a MetaMask account. The Google Chrome plugin MetaMask generates a unique wallet address on the Ethereum blockchain. This cryptocurrency wallet may be used on either your browser or your smartphone to conduct transactions in NFT marketplaces.
To create your own MetaMask account, follow these instructions:
Step 1: Download the MetaMask extension by clicking “Download Now” then follow the instructions on the screen. Select a version depending on your device or browser from the menu.
Step 2: After installation, click the MetaMask icon in the upper right corner. Select “Get Started” from the drop-down menu.
Step 3: To get a unique wallet address, go to the “Create a Wallet” option. The extension will also generate a seed phrase that is specific to your account. This sentence should be kept for future reference. You’ll have to select each word in sequence from time to time in order to re-access your account.
Step 4: Create a strong password for your MetaMask wallet using numbers, letters, and symbols. Make sure it’s not predictable by hackers.
Step 5: To finalize setting up your account, choose the correct words in order.
Sign up on OpenSea
You’ll need to create an OpenSea account after you’ve finished setting up your MetaMask profile. The first and largest non-fungible tokens marketplace, OpenSea was launched in 2017 by two men who are enthusiastic about NFT initiatives. They designed the platform after interacting with other enthusiasts on crypto Discord channels, and it has continually grown in popularity since.
On the secondary market, you may track and purchase highly demanded Art Blocks pieces using OpenSea. The site makes it quick for you to locate and follow your favorite generative art as well as other NFT collections (such as BAYC, CryptoKitties, and CryptoPunks).
Connect Your MetaMask to OpenSea
To join OpenSea, all you need is a MetaMask account. Complete the following:
Step 1: Visit the OpenSea website and click the “Account” icon in the upper-right corner of your screen. From the drop-down menu that appears, choose “My Profile.”
Step 2: To access MetaMask, click the “Sign In” button on the following page.
Step 3: Make sure to check the box next to your desired account, then click “Next.”
Step 4: To complete the connection between MetaMask and OpenSea, click the “Connect” button on the following screen.
Buy ETH on your preferred exchange
You’ll need enough ether (ETH) to purchase an Art Blocks NFT and cover any gas prices. To buy Ethereum, choose a reputable exchange in your area. Then follow these steps:
Step 1: Fill out the form with the information requested by the exchange (usually your name, email address, and a secure password).
Step 2: During the verification process, most exchanges demand that you submit a photo of your ID or passport as proof of identification. It’s possible that your account will need to be manually validated for a few days. You will need to follow the verification procedure to safeguard your account.
Step 3: After your account is approved, you’ll be able to link it to a bank account or credit card and use the exchange to make purchases.
Step 4: Keep track of all the expenses involved in purchasing digital collectibles. You’ll need enough cryptocurrency to purchase your NFTs as well as the gas used in transactions, so make sure you purchase accordingly.
Transfer the ETH to MetaMask
After your Ethereum transaction is complete, you’ll need to move your cryptocurrency from the exchange to your MetaMask account’s unique wallet address. Remember that when you utilize the Ethereum blockchain, you will be paying gas fees, so make sure you have enough by checking etherscan.io for an estimate.
Find the Art Blocks Collection on OpenSea
Next, look for an Art Blocks NFT from one of their collections that is for sale on OpenSea. You may either search using the bar or the left-hand filtering options to locate it.
Before you buy anything, double-check that you’re in the right OpenSea category. It is important to note that there are 3 official Art blocks categories on the platform. Each will have the blue “verified” symbol, which indicates its legitimacy. Many scammers create NFTs that appear to be part of a collection in order to steal your assets. Make sure that you take the time to ensure you are in the right collection.
The three official projects are:
- Art Blocks Curated
- Art Blocks Factory
- Art Blocks Playground
When you look in the specific Art Blocks collection on OpenSea, you’ll be able to filter by a number of criteria specific to that archetype. Learn what rarest collectibles are worth the most so you can make an educated selection when making a purchase.
Buy an Art Blocks NFT
Place a bid on it or click the “buy now” button once you’ve identified an Art Blocks NFT that you want to purchase. Popular NFTs aren’t always for sale, but you can favorite them and return to them at a later date if they become available.
Finalize the transaction on your MetaMask wallet
After you’ve purchased an Art Blocks NFT, you’ll need to finish the transaction in your MetaMask wallet. After you submit the payment, you will receive the NFT.
Storing your digital assets on a hard wallet is critical for keeping them safe. While MetaMask provides security functions, if your browser or computer were to be hacked, your digital assets could be stolen. A hard wallet will offer you further protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Currently, there are over 100,000 Art Blocks on the market. There are over 150 different NFT collections that are managed by the curation board, which includes notable names such as Ann Spalter and Dmitri Cherniak. Additionally, the project runs the Art Blocks Playground which allows specific artists to create additional curated NFTs.
Occasionally, the Art Blocks team of generative artists (such as Tyler Hobbs who created the generative algorithm called Fidenza) will set up new curated drops on artblocks.io. Those interested in each NFT project can mint an asset from the new collection. All NFTs are created by a randomly generated algorithm set up for each curated project.
The Art Blocks site allows people to mint randomly generated tokens on the Art Blocks website. Collectors don’t know what they are getting ahead of time. Once they have an asset, they can sell it on an NFT marketplace, such as OpenSea for a profit. They can also keep the digital art in their own private collection. Smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain track ownership of each asset.
There was a limited number of Art Blocks curated. You won’t be able to join the ranks of collectors by creating your own NFT as part of the Art Blocks Project. Each ERC-721 is recorded on Ethereum’s blockchain to verify the authenticity of the asset.
Because of their scarcity and popularity, Art Blocks are considered valuable. Many collectors want to own them, making them appreciate in value.