Generative Art NFT: Everything to Know

By  Beluga Research September 11, 2023

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  • Generative art NFTs are unique digital assets created through algorithms, stored on the blockchain and bought and sold with cryptocurrencies
  • Any work that can be digitized and altered using a software program can be considered generative
  • Generative art NFTs offer transparency and ownership verification through blockchain-powered marketplaces
  • The disadvantages of generative art NFTs include environmental concerns, volatility in the market and challenges with copyright and accessibility


Cryptocurrency generative art NFTs are unique digital assets created through algorithms, stored on the blockchain and bought and sold with cryptocurrencies. Generative art NFTs are made using code and are randomly generated. Yet the creator can choose certain aspects of the work to alter, like colors, directions, distortions, patterns and themes. Categories of generative art NFTs include animations, illustrations, photos and videos.

Any work that can be digitized and altered using a program ranging from Art Blocks to Javascript can be a generative art NFT. Generative art NFTs can be static or mobile. They are one-of-a-kind pieces that rise in value due to various qualities. These include their aesthetics, timeliness, creator and marketability, in terms of where and how they can be displayed.

A Brief History

Generative art originated in the 1960s and 1970s when artists like Vera Molnár and Manfred Mohr explored the creative potential of algorithms and computational processes. NFTs emerged with blockchain technology. The first widely known NFT was CryptoKitties, which launched in 2017. This game, in which users collected and bred virtual cats. It contained a selection of unique cat icons. Users popularized CryptoKitties because it offered an art-related digital investment that could be linked to the crypto ecosystem.

Since that point, the concept of generative art NFTs has become much more popular. As of 2023, there is a wide selection of generative art NFTs. A user can hold a generative art NFT in a digital wallet. They can also display it through digital monitors in a real space like their home, a museum or a commercial space like a hotel. The user may need specialized equipment like specific monitors for this purpose. An artist can work with a collector or venue to suggest equipment that is appropriate to display the piece.

Generative Art NFT: Everything to Know

An artist creates a piece defined as a generative art NFT with programs or algorithms. The artist sets certain parameters for the piece. A program may use randomness, user input or external data to create a still image, animation or video. An artist can make an infinite number of variations to the piece. They mint their artwork as an NFT on a blockchain platform like Ethereum. The act of minting creates data that is stored in a block. This information serves as a certificate of uniqueness, authenticity and ownership.

Creating a generative art NFT involves algorithms, mathematical formulas, random number generators and external data. Minting tokenizes the artwork on the blockchain. The different methods of creating generative art NFTs allow an artist to design many different variations of a single concept. This means they can develop a dynamic collection of linked or similar pieces.

Generative art NFTs are popular among collectors, art enthusiasts and venues where new works are displayed. These include art fairs, festivals and museums. Artists typically showcase and sell their work on blockchain-powered marketplaces.

Getting Started

  • Create or acquire a generative art NFT. An artist can create a generative art NFT or a collector can buy a generative art NFT. The artist or collector can get a sense of the value of the NFT by reviewing similar pieces.
  • Sell or exchange the piece. The artist or collector can sell the generative art NFT on their own or through a virtual marketplace. A virtual marketplace may charge a fee for the process. A collector typically buys a generative art NFT after establishing a digital wallet and acquiring cryptocurrency to pay for the piece.
  • View generative art NFTs. Users can get an idea of how a generative art NFT will display by viewing full-size or thumbnail images of the piece. They can also talk with the artist or current owner of the piece if they are serious about acquiring it.
  • Determine the investment value of generative art NFTs. A collector can track the number of times a piece has been exchanged and shifts in the piece's price. They can also review such data for similar pieces. Further, they can look at the status and popularity of the artist. The idea is to determine how the artist's standing will influence the price of the piece.
  • Explore the community around similar pieces. Certain generative art NFTs form a set, like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club. Projects have a community of collectors that buy and discuss the pieces. Their presence and activities add diversity and vibrancy to the generative art NFT space.

Unique Aspects

  • Can produce an infinite number of unique variations. Artists set parameters for the pieces but use algorithms to create most aspects of the piece. Each piece is unique. Pieces in a set may have similarities.
  • Royalties. Artists can include a smart contract with their NFTs. This ensures they will receive a percentage of subsequent resales. A smart contract allows artists to earn royalties as their pieces appreciate in value and change hands in the secondary market. Royalties provide a new revenue stream for artists. They can align their interests with the long-term success of their creations.
  • Community aspect . Collectors form vibrant communities around specific projects. They collaborate, discuss and trade their NFTs. Communities create a sense of belonging and shared interest. These extend beyond the mere ownership of digital assets. A community's engagement and support contribute to the overall value and recognition of generative art projects.


  • Permanency and Less Ability to get Damaged. Since generative art NFTs are digital, they are not as likely to degrade in quality as many forms of traditional physical art.
  • Authenticity and Proof of Creation. Generative art NFTs are a relatively new form of art. Artists are more likely to be alive and able to state whether they created a certain piece. Also, the record of their minting the piece and offering it in a virtual marketplace both signify that the work is theirs.
  • Limited Supply - Generative art NFTs are created with specific parameters that generate a limited number of variations. This scarcity increases the value and desirability of these artworks among collectors.
  • Immutable Ownership - Blockchain technology ensures that ownership of generative art NFTs is recorded and stored in a decentralized and unchangeable manner. This eliminates the risk of fraudulent claims. It provides a transparent and secure way to verify ownership rights.
  • Royalties and Residual Income - Smart contracts embedded within generative art NFTs enable artists to receive royalties or a percentage of the resale value whenever their artworks are traded or sold. This allows artists to benefit from the success of their creations after the initial sale.
  • Accessibility and Exposure - Generative art NFTs provide new avenues for artists to showcase their work to a global audience. Anyone with an internet connection can view and acquire these artworks. Yet the current owner of the artwork or the artist can set terms to limit the display of a piece. The owner of a piece can utilize a physical gallery or traditional intermediary, but may not need to do so.
  • Interactivity and Customization - Some generative art NFTs offer interactive features that allow collectors to manipulate or customize aspects of the artwork. This enhances the user experience. It adds engagement to the ownership of the pieces.


  • Environmental Impact - The creation and trading of generative art NFTs rely on blockchain networks. The networks consume a significant amount of energy. This raises concerns about the environmental impact and carbon footprint of NFTs.
  • Volatility and Speculation - The market for generative art NFTs can be highly volatile. Speculation and hype-driven buying can lead to inflated prices that may not reflect the intrinsic value of the pieces. This poses risks for both artists and collectors.
  • Copyright and Intellectual Property Issues - Despite the transparency provided by blockchain technology, copyright infringement and intellectual property rights issues can limit the display and use of generative art NFTs. Determining the original creator of a generative art piece and enforcing copyright can be challenging. This is especially true because the pieces are programmable.
  • Accessibility Barriers - Generative art NFTs have the potential to provide broader accessibility to the art world. Yet there are barriers for artists and collectors. The technical knowledge and resources required to create and trade NFTs limit participation. This is particularly true for artists and collectors unfamiliar with blockchain technology.
  • Market Saturation and Quality Control - The rapid growth of the generative art NFT market has raised concerns about market saturation and the quality of the artworks being produced. With a low barrier to entry, there is a risk of flooding the market with low-quality or derivative generative art pieces. This could dilute the value and appeal of pieces and the entire generative art NFT marketplace.