In brief

  • Art Blocks is a popular Ethereum generative artwork NFT project.
  • The project has generated more than $1.3 billion worth of trading volume to date.

When the NFT market surged to new heights late last summer, Ethereum project Art Blocks saw one of the steepest ascents. The generative artwork project jumped from $11 million in secondary market trading volume in June to $63 million in July—and then $587 million in August.

Rapidly, Art Blocks went from a crypto-native curio—blockchain-generated artwork—into a blue chip collection that many investors sought to profit from. Suddenly, the NFTs were selling for upwards of millions of dollars apiece, and each new collection launch was swarmed with demand, driving up Ethereum network transaction fees and frustrating would-be owners.

It was chaos. For Art Blocks founder and CEO Erick Calderon (aka Snowfro), also creator of the project’s original Chromie Squiggle collection, the boom was too much, too soon. And it invited in investors who appeared to be there purely for the potential speculative upside, rather than collectors who truly appreciated the work and wanted to support artists.

“The explosion was fun, but it was more terrifying than fun. Things don’t naturally grow at that rate,” Calderon told Decrypt. “It’s validating, but it also feels like someone is taking your baby and using it for what it wasn’t originally intended to be used for.”

Art Blocks spans hundreds of NFT collections across three banners, with “Curated” carrying the fewest collections and the most prestige. Each project is based…

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