Art investments are crushing the S&P 500 while also protecting against inflation. A founder of a leading online art platform shares her 4 tips for buying art — and 7 emerging artists to watch

Chelsea Nassib, CEO and co-founder of Tappan

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With the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), it might seem as though the ability to invest in art online only started happening this year.

But Tappan Collective, a full-service art platform, has been tapping into individuals’ desire to buy physical art online since 2012.

“Almost 10 years later, we feel very lucky to have been a little ahead of the curve and to see everybody finally making their way onto the online space,” Chelsea Nassib, co-founder and CEO of Tappan, said.

Over the course of 2020, Tappan has doubled its sales compared to the previous year, according to the firm. The revenue growth comes during a time when more people have spent time at home and online due to the pandemic.

Online sales of art have doubled in value since 2019, reaching a record high of $12 billion, according to UBS, and represent 25% share of the art market’s total value. This is the first time the share of e-commerce in the art market has exceeded that of retail.

The rise of online art sales also coincides with the rise of NFTs, which are cryptographic tokens that exist on the blockchain and can represent real-world items, such as art, music and real estate. 

There have been eye watering sales of NFTs in recent months and traditional auction houses, such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, have also been getting in on the trend. Many believe NFTs will create new opportunities for creators because of the royalties and control they offer.

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Melding crypto and physical art

Tappan is once again seeking to be ahead of the digital curve by providing cryptocurrency payments for art on the platform. It will also offer the ability to receive certificates of authenticity (COA) as NFTs.

“For us [cryptocurrency and NFTs] unlock a new audience for our artists,” Nassib said. “One of our pillars is accessibility and making that buying experience more accessible and more seamless for that audience was a driver for our team. Plus, our team is interested in this space in general.”

Tappan will absorb all the risks and fluctuations of the cryptocurrency and will convert the crypto into dollars for payment to the artist.

On delivery of the physical artwork, individuals can request an NFT certificate of authenticity.  The customer will send Tappan their wallet details and the firm will do a wallet to wallet transfer of the COA, said Emily Wing, Tappan’s director of product.

“We have included a smart contract that includes a royalty for the artists,” Wing said. “So, if and when it changes hands, a percentage of that purchase price will go to the artists.”

Tappan aims to operate as an authenticating body for their artists’ work and hopes that NFTs could set a new standard for the art market if embraced. The royalties, in itself, could be life changing for artists, Nassib said.

“I’m hopeful that [NFTs] have legs,” Nassib said. “I think there are certain mediums that have been difficult to monitor and trade and sell and this has really opened up a lot …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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