NFTs conception sounds in principle rather democratic, as it allows creators to monetize directly, selling globally on decentralized marketplaces; and on top of that to receive a percentage every time the NFT is sold or changes owner.
So, when it comes to monetization, NFTs obviously work fine: someone for instance paid USD 390 000 for a 50-second video by online musician, singer, songwriter Grimes whose real name is Claire Elise Boucher and who is (or was, we cannot keep track) Elon Musk’s partner.
But apparently, she was a rare exemption: according to a new market report by the ArtTactic, women artists accounted just for 16% of Nifty Gateway’s NFT sales in the last two years. Plus, the price tags are nowhere near those of their male colleagues: to give you an exemple, Mike Winkelmann, online called Beeple, sold a collage of sketches called “Everydays The First 5000 Days” for the dazzling price of USD 69 million.
The founder of ArtTactic, Anders Petterson, very wisely warns: “Before we throw ourselves into the metaverse, it might be a good idea to stop and ask ourselves what we want this digital universe to look like, before we repeat our mistakes from the past.”
It is actually exactly the same problem as the biases with AI: as we, humans, create digital worlds, we pass on our mistakes and biases from the physical one.
To be more precise, lack of gender diversity in NFT sales only represents the inequality in the traditional art world: According to the most recent edition of the Artnet Intelligence Report, only six women made the list of the 100 top-selling artists at auction in the first half of 2021, while in the last decade, works by women represented a mere 2 percent of the $196.6 billion in total art auction sales.