What is NFT?
A non-foldable token (NFT) is essentially a unique digital token found in a specific Blockchain that allows the ownership and verification of any particular digital object. One of the most common forms of NFT involves creating unique cryptographic artwork that is then sold to the highest bidder. The non-fungible tokens (NFT) market in the $27 billion segment of the cryptocurrency market has exploded this year, according to a new report from Chainalysis.
Celebrities, artists, and tech gurus, all have been won over by these NFTs. Moreover, the media hype that Facebook generated about the metaverse also contributed to the explosion of the NFT market at the end of the year. In fact, the companies offer investors exposure to the space by investing in publicly traded companies active in the NFT space.
On January 4, Open Sea, one of the main markets in this field, raised $300 million (€264 million), bringing its valuation to $13.3 billion. The cryptocurrency market is booming so much that the Financial Times estimates it at $41 billion. Almost as much as the traditional art market is estimated to be around $50 billion.
Since the record of $69 million, in March 2021, at Christie’s, by the NFT of Beeple, a then unknown artist, the whole world has rushed to the hack. Sotheby’s, which in one year sold $100 million worth of NFTs, accounted for 78% of new buyers, half of whom were under the age of 40.
The boom is that the Nike brand plans to produce virtual sneakers, while the former First Lady of the United States Melania Trump, in January, sells an NFT drawing that reproduces her azure look … This massive peak has two main reasons according to many researchers. First, its potentially explosive long-term value for investors, like traditional artwork. Then, thanks to the social status that owning NFTs within the crypto community can give him, just like Rolex or Lamborghini in “real life”.
What about Morocco?
The first difficulty that artists and investors face in Morocco is the ban on cryptocurrency. However, the temptation to profit seems stronger than to break regulations. The latest Chainalysis report confirms Moroccans’ enthusiasm for virtual currencies. Based on the value of cryptocurrencies received, the value of retail trade transferred, and the volume of exchanges, the Global Crypto Adoption Index of American research firm Chainalysis ranked 24th in the world in 2021.
However, virtual currency transactions are strictly prohibited and constitute a violation of the foreign exchange regulations in the country. A decision made in 2017 with the aim of protecting the consumer but has little deterrent force on young artists who are likely to succumb to the temptation of this virtual market.
Ali Kenan, a 34-year-old graphic designer and illustrator from Casablanca, is one of the few Moroccan artists to enter the world of NFTs. And so the work was born: “Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins,” which was auctioned at 0.5 Ethereum (ETH), a digital value equivalent to 1,600 euros. “At the moment, the coin has reached 0.4 ETH and its value may go up as well, and who knows, it will cross the 0.5 ETH threshold you set,” Ali Kanan is optimistic.
For his part, Mahdi Ayach, multidisciplinary designer and art director, creator of NFT, declared that “the globalization that we have talked about enough during the 1990s has reached the stage of creation. Morocco is missing the mark because of the lobby that resists technology and the NFTs are just a small glacier that hides a mountain Huge glacier. This artist advocates “documenting and nurturing art that will forever move towards the new virtual world…”.
However, the legislative ambiguity surrounding NFTs makes it difficult to protect users in Morocco.