Tattoos have been a worldwide phenomenon for thousands of years, transcending cultural shifts and technological shifts. As art continues to evolve, it has now taken strides into the non-fungible token space (NFT) in an effort to maintain its relevance in an increasingly digital world.
Known as Bang Bang in the tattoo industry, Keith McCurdy is one artist who hopes to fuse the spirit of tattoo culture with disruptive techniques. It uses a new type of rewritable tattoo ink that appears and fades under different lighting conditions.
Over the past five years, Bang Bang said scientists at the University of Colorado have developed a tattoo ink made from microcapsules, a technology called “technical tattooing” that leaves a color-changing mark that is activated by UV light, thus altering a tattooed image as it React with ultraviolet light. He sees technology as a way to bridge the tattoo culture’s desire for individuality with the demonstrable uniqueness of NFTs. Back in June, he sold his first rewritable tattoo as 1/1 NFT for 100 Ether (ETH), or roughly $100,000 at the time.
McCurdy told Cointelegraph:
“Our digital identity will become very important in the future. It may indeed be more important than our physical identity today. Being unique in a digital world and identifying oneself is what we do best, and in that there are endless similarities and opportunities.”
Another company working to connect the tattoo community to Web3 is Indelible Company – which allows owners to use their intellectual property rights by drawing new tattoos and adding i to existing Profile (PFP) NFTs. Mike Amoya, Founder of Indelible, told Cointelegraph:
“NFT holders are always looking to monetize or do different things with their IP. We feel it’s a really fun way to monetize or even have fun with your IP by putting like famous tattoo art on it.”
Eight months ago, the startup had the idea that tattoo artists should be able to expand their business beyond their studios, and access unlimited ways to make money from their art. “We felt it was a really cool app for tattoo culture, and we wanted to do it the opposite way, which is to draw characters on real people. We wanted a Web3 tattoo.”
Related: What is NFT and why is it so popular?
Amoia, who is also an angel investor, came up with this idea two years ago and decided to fund his startup focused on the untapped potential of combining tattoos with NFTs. He said the project’s first cast of characters will be signed by tattoo artists Mike Rubindahl, Matt Skinny and BJ Bates. Umoya said:
“All communities should embrace such projects and then the other way around because we all help each other. The more successful my project is, the more it helps all other projects because it makes more people understand what it is.”
NFTs are digital objects that can be validated on the blockchain, and contain features such as exclusivity and interchangeability. There are many categories in which they can be categorized, but they come up most notably as blockchain-based art, music, and video games. During the pandemic, NFTs have taken over the art world, with digital tokens sold at major auction houses for tens of millions of dollars.
By 2030, Verified Market Research (VMR) predicts the NFT market will grow to $231 billion in value. In the next eight years, the sector is expected to grow by 33.7% at a compound annual rate. Music, film and sports are among the many industries in which NFT is in high demand.