In brief

  • SuperRare is a social network for art creators and collectors, backed by blockchain.
  • Creators can create digital artworks and tokenize them on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Collectors can buy and trade artworks with royalties going back to the creator thanks to smart contracts.

Crypto collectibles are about more than cartoon kitties. SuperRare uses the power of the Ethereum blockchain to make digital art rare–provably rare. In this article, we learn how their “social collecting” platform connects artists, collectors, and crypto in a new type of ecosystem.

What is SuperRare?

In the world of collectibles, people want the real deal and they are willing to pay big money for it. And where you find big money, you will also find fraud, forgery, and general mischief. By using the Ethereum blockchain, the entire the history and origin of a piece of art can be tracked on a distributed ledger no one controls and anyone can access.

On the SuperRare platform, artists create a piece of art and tokenize it–meaning they link the art with a token. It’s not just any token, the new digital art is forever linked to a Non-Fungible Token (NFT). This special type of Ethereum token has the property of being as unique as the artwork itself. 

Once the NFT is on SuperRare, it can be bought, sold, or even HODLed as a long term investment. Artists can either put their creation up for an auction-style bidding process or sell it for a set price. Once the NFT is sold to a buyer, it can then be resold at any price on a variety of NFT trading platforms.

Who Invented SuperRare?

SuperRare was founded in 2017 by John Crain, Charles Crain, and Johnathan Perkins–the CEO, CTO, and CPO. They are also the founders of Pixura, the company building the crypto collectible technology running SuperRare.

What’s so special about it?

SuperRare is a platform where digital art lovers can connect and collect–they call it “social collecting”. The idea behind SuperRare is the belief that collecting is inherently social so collectors and artists should be able to easily interact around their shared passion. On the platform, users can see who the top collectors and trending artists are, how many pieces they’ve bought or created, and how much ETH they’ve spent or accumulated. You can also view the art itself along with a description and its history of owners. 

Did you know?

SuperRare has been able to achieve something rare in the crypto industry–real usage and activity. The network is among the top ten in weekly value traded for NFTs along with big names in the Ethereum dapp world like CryptoKitties and Gods Unchained. 

What else is different?

Beyond just tracking and authentication, the SuperRare smart contract system allows the original creator of the art to collect a fee from resale prices–similar to a royalty. Every time an NFT is resold, the creator earns a fee. Since fees are accumulated by artists as a function of smart contract code, it guarantees them an automatic royalty for their creations even long after it leaves their possession.

For the first sale of a new art piece, the original creator receives 85% of the commission while the gallery receives 15%. For any sales after that, creators receive 3% commission. To date, more than 5,000 artworks have been created with over $500,000 in fees collected by artists on SuperRare.

How are SuperRare tokens produced?

Though anyone is able to purchase and hold Ethereum tokens like the NFTs used by SuperRare, only artists who are invited can create artwork on the platform. To apply to join the network as an artist, you must fill out an application with the requirement that all artwork created for SuperRare must be original, created by you, digital, and must not be tokenized anywhere else on the internet. 

How do you get hold of SuperRare art?

All SuperRare transactions must be made using Ether so users will need to buy Ether, which can be done on any crypto exchange. To interact on the SuperRare platform, users will need to connect using MetaMask

The Future

In 2018, SuperRare presented at Christie’s Art + Technology blockchain summit and introduced the benefits of blockchain to collectors in the traditional art world. Last year, the project collaborated with DADA.art for an event at the Tate Modern museum in London – the first time art was created in a world-class museum then immediately made available for collectors across the world. If they continue this trend of working with highly established and respect art institutions, the social collecting network will go nowhere but up.