Damien Hirst’s NFT project “The Currency” has come to an end, an experiment that explored the dynamics of art in Web3. As a result, collectors were left with a decision of whether they wanted to burn the NFT for a physical work of art or have the physical art burned and maintain ownership of the digital asset.
The decision by collectors came down to nearly a 50% split, meaning Hirst will have to burn close to 5,000 physical works of art — this includes 1,000 pieces owned by the artist himself, in a decision to burn 100% of his own physical works and keep all as NFTs.
I have been all over the fucking shop with my decision making, trying to work out what I should do. In the beginning I had thought I would definitely chose all physical. Or most physical haha. Then I thought half- half and then I felt I had to keep all my 1,000 as NFTs and…
— Damien Hirst (@hirst_official) July 27, 2022

A total of 5,149 NFTs were exchanged for their physical counterparts, meaning that the NFT version of the works is now slightly more scarce.
Inspired by bank notes, each physical work is handmade and started with a specially made piece of paper that features a watermark of Hirt’s head. The works also include unique handwritten titles like “I know you’re going to sell me,” and a hologram, signature, and micro dot for proof of authenticity.
The Currency was the artist’s first-ever NFT project and launched in July during what was the peak of the NFT market. The works that made up the collection were created in 2016 and then minted to the blockchain in partnership with HENI and Palm.
The burning of NFTs in exchange for a physical good or alternate perk is not unheard-of in the space, however, the burning of a physical of significant value in order to keep the NFT is a concept pioneered by Hirst.
“I have been in the physical art world a long time and I expect people to have agendas, and I’ve seen a lot of bollox and I’m amazed at how this community breeds support and seems to care about s**t so in the end, I decided I have to keep all my 1000 currency as NFTs,” tweeted Hirst.
Designed to explore the boundaries of art and currency, the project first went on sale for a mint price of roughly $2,000 USD. At the time of writing the floor price for the NFT works now sits at 5.6 ETH (approximately $9,000 USD).
Since The Currency, Hirst has launched another collection inspired by the art he did for Drake’s Certified Lover Boy album cover in November — the second collection was distributed as an airdrop to holders of The Currency NFT.
In other news, Daniel Arsham, Misha Kahn, and Andrés Reisinger design metaverse real estate for “The Row.”
For more news about blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFTs, and Web3, visit Hypemoon.com.

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