There is no denying that blockchain technology is taking the world by storm – and Australia is at the forefront of NFT innovation. With copious lockdowns brought upon us by the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic (without which the NFT boom may not have occurred) many contemporary artists have discarded their traditional fine art methods to hop on this digital art trend.
But art on the blockchain is not just a mere fad. It is a new way of operating beyond the standard management structures of art. The RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub is the world’s first research centre on the social science of blockchain. Bringing together economics, sociology, public policy, and political economy, the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub provides a new way to understand this global blockchain evolution.
With an ever-growing abundance of emerging talents, creators and collectors alike, we have put together a diverse list of Australian thought leaders pioneering the NFT world.
Here is a rundown of the top 10 Aussies in the NFT-verse right now (in no particular order):
Jodee Rich is an Australian businessman and the founder and CEO of PeopleBrowsr, a technology company that enables enterprise, government and Top Level Domain owners to launch their own blockchain integrated social networks. He is also one of the founders or NFT-NYC, the world’s largest NFT conference.
Based in Brisbane, Australia, Betty is the co-founder and director of Deadfellaz – an NFT collection featuring 10,000 unique zombies minted on the Ethereum blockchain. Just within 20 minutes of launch on 13 September 2021, the collection had sold out and traded over $9 million AUD within its first month. As an ever-expanding brand, Deadfellaz aims to focus on “the evolution of gamification, IP and NFT technology within the metaverse and beyond,” says Betty on LinkedIn.
Described as the “Oprah of the NFT world” by Altcoin Buzz, Voltura is known for going viral on the NFT Twitter space for their unique community approach to NFT marketing. They sporadically rewarded whitelist spots to random interactors on Twitter, as well as gift free NFTs to their most creative followers. Voltura.eth is the creator of the hugely successful Psychedelics Annonymous NFT project.
Matty (@dclblogger on twitter) is the founder of the Metakey NFT Project. The Metakey is a token which can be used across multiple platforms to transform into avatars, game items, exclusive game perks and much more. The project has been highly successful, selling over 9800 Metakeys to over 3900 customers for over 5300 Ether as of December 2021. Matty also runs a YouTube channel that offers guidance in NFT investing and coverage.
Professor Ellie Rennie
As well as being a Principal Research Fellow in RMIT’s Digital Ethnography Research Centre, Professor Ellie Rennie is a member of RMIT’s Blockchain Innovation Hub. She began an Australian Research Council-funded Future Fellowship in 2020, a five-year project called ‘Cooperation through Code’, which ‘aims to show the social consequences of using distributed ledger technology for compliance, registries and regulatory processes.’ [Source: https://rmitblockchain.io/ellierennie]
Zeneca33 is a man of many names: an investor, advisor, content creator, and the founder of the hugely successful Zen Academy – an educational platform hosted on a private discord server. Memberships were obtained by purchasing Zeneca’s NFT of which there are two tiers to choose from: the ‘Genesis’ tier and ‘The 333 club’. The former guarantees a lifetime membership while the latter promises even closer access to Zeneca himself.
Okay, he’s from New Zealand – but it’s hard to overlook his work in the Crypto-world. Nolan is the founder behind Cryptovoxels, a virtual reality powered by the Ethereum blockchain. Users can create avatars, stores, galleries as well as host virtual events and socialise within this virtual world. Cryptovoxels gives power and agency to its users, with a user-owned and edited world that does not require programming knowledge.
Sarana Haeata @aslanruby
Sarana Haeata is a Maori-Australian artist living and working on remote Arnhem Land. Her work has become increasingly in demand within the NFT-space and holds a strong focus on female empowerment and racial diversity. Together with her husband Tom Lee, they run Aslan Ruby, a creative digital design studio. The couple are the art creation team behind projects such as Meta Angels, Honey Badges and 63 Patron Saints.
An emerging force in Australia’s NFT space is GT Sewel. A gallerist and fine art printer, he previously ran MilkBar, a gallery and shop for seven years before moving his practice to digital. In 2020, GT and his partner, Jane established, 4RC4DE, a curated NFT art platform to help onboard Australian artists into the NFT space. They have now recently sold the art printing side of the business and are currently focusing on relocating 4RC4DE Gallery in real life.
Zam (Darian Zam)
After 30+ years of physical art practice primarily painting and drawing, Zam entered the Crypto Art space in September 2020. In that time Zam has moved over 200 NFTs and was also 1 of 21 artists invited to participate in Australia’s Future Art exhibition in Aug 2021. Zam’s art is colourful, loud and busy, full of detail and movement.
Article Written by Beatrice Madamba