10 Theses for Onchain Art Markets in 2024

This piece was originally published on the Base network via Zora network as an .html digital asset. X thread can be read here.

Gökhan Turhan | gokhan.eth
5 min readDec 20, 2023

You are a grown individual, and I am not really here to tell you that the following is not an investment advice but only an interpretation of the current arts and culture markets in the blockspace futures by an independent protocol researcher who happens to have been wasting his imagination in the artspeak world for the last 20 years.

I wish this had been a The New Yorker essay, a monologue at length that only either obssesed rationalists or comfortably mature intelectuals would read in a single sitting on a pretentiously beauteous setting. However, as curation begets demagoguery, it’s just a personal diary of an entry.

Since I am a genuinely curious multi-disciplinary conceptual writer and artist of the same lineage, I do ponder about art a lot in terms of the collective play, composable freedoms, and over-financialization. However, we are not going into those today.

In this piece, I’d like to share my forecasts regarding arts, culture, and open finance for the upcoming year, that is, 2024 AD. Let’s roll:

1. Conceptual Art will Lead the Onchain Art Markets

When people think about the conceptual art as a genre, they usually reminisce about the void that has been tried to be narrativized as the contemporary art. However, we are lucky that neither is contemporary are of barren imagineering nor does conceptual art aim to be that which is cunningly dubbed as the trash art — as if art brute has never happened.

Artists such as Shloms, Deafbeef, Rhea Myers, Sarah Friend, and Saray Meyohas will be leading the way.

2. Smart Contract Art will Become Ubiquitous

We all know that some artists have been playing with the concept that smart contract is itself the canvas, that is the medium, of onchain art. There have been many an intriguing experiment at the contract level from Audioglyphs to Kudzu to some user-interfacelss experiments that are now buried in the sands of blockspace across Görli and Rinkeby testnets.

However, as the art markets participants mature, and established artists and collectors start to utilize the blockspace not as some liquidity extraction hype but as the medium itself, we are about to see a new wave of protocol-native art genres as did we see in net dot art era.

3. Art Markets will be the Crucial Onboarding Funnel for Open Finance

Though I would not deem any pfp project as an art project other than a couple of attempts thereof, my favorites are the ones that defy the conservative sides in both art and finance, such as the Hashmasks that introduced the bonding curve and puzzle-narrative curve into the markets and Miladys who permeated the almost occultural lore behind a several waves of acceleration-ism into to core hysterical NFT markets. These are art in finance, considering the way they play with the infrastructural compenents, behavioral markets, and lores.

However, as the art collectivist niché mature around trust markets, we’ll see tailored NFT markets for given collectors, and audiences through both fine art and cryptomedia. Whilst Folia might be my first go-to small press for experimental art, Zora network is the harbinger of cryptomedia in any container available.

Considering these, and the proliferation of layer 2 solutions that support EVM, we will see more traditional instiutions and their clients make use of stacks such as Optimism Superchain stack to build their own art market infrastructures either on the existent solutions such as Zora via Base, or through their own custom solutions where private networks will meet permissionless blokchains. In this trajectory, what Circle does with CCTP for USDC, and that which Chainlink enables for instutional players such as SWIFT will be determinant blueprints for onchain art market architectures.

4. Art is the new RWA.

As abovementioned, we will see the existent physical art markets, or hybrids thereof, will use the blockspace mechanism markets more and more. This will be the case for the following reasons:

  • There are countless artworks in public and private art collections, museums and galleries that these institutions will want to tokenize and make use of the blockspace for the sake of liquidity and fractionalization so that these assets can be utilized as collateral for other financial instruments.
  • This means that many art work that are about to decay in the basements of these institutions will meet the art audiences and collectors for the first time in a couple of centuries if not a millenium.
  • Firms, enterprises, holdings, and funds that own art collections will utilize the experimental art markets on blockchain space to forecast about the real world assets usecases of the blockchains.

5. RWAs will utilize artistic assets in the petri dish of open finance to fine tune their own financial instruments.

As above, so below.

6. Artists will experiment with account abstraction, intent-architectures, embedded wallets, mechanism markets.

Yes, artists who can in actual code, or ideate with others on the practical specifity of art works that require a deep knowledge of how blockspace infrastructures work will be utilizing proto- and post-AA wallets, MPCs, TEEs, intents-architectures and mechanism markets. Especially in the nexus of MEV, fee market mechanisms, privacy by design, and intents, we might see a surge of art in finance experiments across the emergent services such as Flashbots SUAVE, or others across IBC. Some will even go further and make use of data, price feeds, and the likes by means of Chainlink and the like.

7. There will be at least a single dappchain that is a pure of work art itself.

Yes, as we have been witnessing projects demanding an end-game from their self-governance consensus, and deploy as a standalone decentralized application chain, see MakerDAO endgame, or what dydx has done; we will also witness collective of artists create entire dappchains that are but work of arts.

An art work but a blockchain. I am not talking about migrating the entire Loot lore unto a Cosmos dappchain. However, I think that a gigabrain will wake up one morning and instead of breaking things, they’ll just code an artwork that is but a dappchain — ps, layer3 abstractions upon l2 superstacks can also be considered in relation to this musing.

8. Artists will make use of existing liquidity by offering hypershitcoinized editions that will help them realize better projects.

We all know that some artists just issue almost hypershitcoinized editions that do not play with any idea other than extracting liquidity from the markets. Many such cases will persist, we will even see black swan event. Hence, DYOR. It’s because of the fact that the package-like nature of blockchain based art markets have come to such interdependency chaosmosis that a simple “I wanna touch your API” rug might create the most erotic of depegs in especially the stable-coin concentrated crypto-art clusters.

9. More plushies on the way.

10. Hypebeasts will return.

The last two points will be elaborated on the following essays. Have a nice day, stay hydrated, and believe that you deserve happiness in 2024 as long as you work for it.