The first Damien Hirst NFT experiment is officially over after the famous artist began burning the remaining $10 million worth of artwork. The NFT collection, called The Currency, was a year-long project by the contemporary artist. In this, he examined the value of physical vs. digital art. Then, over a year-long period, NFT holders had to decide to keep the NFT art or trade it in for a physical piece of art by one of the world’s most prominent artists. Yesterday, during a live stream, at his London gallery, he burned many of the remaining unclaimed physical works.
The Currency NFT experiment is over!
Damien Hirst is one of the modern world’s most famous and celebrated artists. His crazy and unique modern art experiments have sold for tens of millions of pounds.
In July 2021, Hirst launched The Currency, a collection of 10,000 NFTs with a twist. With a $2,000 mint price, the project was incredibly popular, and at one point, they were selling for over $12,000 each. As part of the experiment, NFT holders had precisely one year to decide whether to keep the NFT or trade it for a replica physical oil painting.
However, at the end of the 365 days, there were some interesting stats. Surprisingly, of the 10 thousand NFTs, 4,851, almost half of the holders decided to keep their NFTs. 5,149 NFT holders traded their NFT for a piece of physical Damien Hirst artwork.
Because the 4,851 NFT holders didn’t swap their physical pieces, this left almost 5,000 pieces of physical art. Part of this enormous collection is what Damien Hirst set fire to yesterday.
Why did Damien Hirst burn the Currency artworks?
Yesterday, Damien Hirst began burning the art to honor his promise of destroying the remaining artwork from his NFT experiment. In an Instagram live stream, he burnt hundreds of The Currency artworks at London’s Newport Street Gallery.
“A lot of people think I’m burning millions of dollars of art, but I’m not. I’m completing the transformation of these physical artworks into NFTs by burning the physical versions,” said Hirst.