When Christie’s auctioned off a non-fungible token for more than $69 million in March, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and other big-name executives took notice. So did big-name artists.
Most recently, rapper, actor and business mogul Juaquin James Malphurs, best known by stage name Waka Flocka, announced he’s partnered with Satoshi Art, a NFT marketplace owned by people from underrepresented communities. The brainchild of a diverse group of entrepreneurs from the art and finance worlds, Satoshi Art founders, Stally and William Wang have one goal in mind: to ensure all artists are recognized for their creativity.
“This new venture will bring freedom back to the artist,” says Waka Flocka. “Made by the artists for the artists,” adds Stally.
NFTs, or unique assets recorded on a blockchain, burst onto the digital art scene this past year, providing artists with a way to sell and investors with a way to obtain ownership of digital files that are authentic, one-of-a-kind and, therefore, valuable. After years spent watching Black artists continuously lose out on profits, this resonated with Waka Flocka.
The Atlanta rapper, whose biggest hits include “No Hands” and “Rollin,” featuring Gunplay, says the mission of the venture is to educate and provide underrepresented creatives with a global platform for NFT deals, through which they can achieve financial freedom and two-tier ownership.
There are, of course, other platforms that allow people to buy and sell NFTs including OpenSea and Rarible, but the Satoshi Art cofounders say none have the same mission and perspective that allows them to cater to artists of color.
“We best understand the concerns and grievances of fellow artists,” says Stally. “We provide unprecedented types of services on our platform, including the environment we create, for example, for an American artist to collaborate with an artist from China to increase the volume of potential interest in their digital artwork. Satoshi Art is truly a platform for artists.”