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Physical NFTs – can you touch it? Physical NFTs explained

Many people have been talking about NFTs and digital art and NFT art collections, Below we will explain what a physical NFT is and investigate the idea of converting and selling physical art into NFTs and whether there is use in doing so.

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July 17, 2022

What is a Physical NFT?

We know that an NFT stands for a unique asset created on the blockchain, enabling artists to create digital assets, which they can then sell. Some of the art that is created can be sold as a limited edition, or one can divide the digital art piece into pieces, or a one-of-a-kind piece. The upside is that each time it is resold, the creator receives a “royalty” payment

So, then what is a physical NFT? It’s a term used for physical artwork that has been monetized using an NFT, though not solely. These are NFTs that are linked to physical pieces of art, like a hybrid. They can be sold like any other NFT or redeemed for receiving the physical piece of art. 

How do I authenticate an artwork?

Authenticating an artwork basically means that it needs to have a cryptographic authentication. This is the way to tokenize the artwork turning into a one-of- a kind art piece which is the idea behind the NFT. 

An artist that wants to turn their physical art into an NFT needs to tokenize the piece in question on the blockchain, which is achieved most easily by taking a photo with your smartphone. There are also some companies which can help in digitizing your physical art, yet it’s not a simple process at this point. 

Converting NFTs to Physical

This can be seen as a bit tricky. Do you want the art as an NFT or as a physical piece? The physical work and the NFT can be separate or together, the value differs depending on what you intend to do with one or the other. The important thing to consider is that for the art to be considered as collectible as possible, the artist must come up with a “rarity system” so to add value to either the NFT of physical art.  Superchief Gallery in New York was the first physical gallery that exhibited NFT art and Beeple, a well known NFT artist, also tokenized physical pieces of his work and sold them off.  Currently, the solutions to make an NFT physical are still very immature and expensive and need to be expanded on further.

What is the use of a Physical NFT?

It can be debated that the use of a physical NFT is the fact that its tangible and therefore holds valuable and is a less risky investment than an NFT, which works like a stock where the value can increase and decrease more quickly. 

The Future of the Physical NFT

Recently, there was a museum that decided to introduce their patrons to what future NFT exhibits could look like. They created a virtual exhibition space as an extension to the existing one where one could feel what an NFT digital art exhibit may look like. Creators and owners of NFTs were invited to submit proposal of their NFT art. A curated selection was made and offered an introduction into these relatively new forms of creativity.  

Physical NFTs will have a future as people will continue to want to share their art from a physical state to a digital one and if they can increase the value of their physical art then there is no reason not to try to do so. 


Art is always something that is evolving over centuries and NFT art and Physical NFTs are a part of the digital art evolution that is taking place. Nothing is set in stone in the NFT space and therefore NFT art or Physical NFTs and what value they can bring to their creators is yet to be seen. 


Can I convert physical art to NFTs or not?

Yes, physical artworks can be minted and sold online as NFTs. The process of doing it may not be so simple.

Can an NFT be physical art?

Yes, however since the meaning behind NFT is that it is unique, the physical version needs to be tokenized. 

How do you physically display NFT art?

The NFT display market is one which is quickly expanding. Here are some options one can currently us to display:

  1. TV monitor and LED screens, iPad, etc.
  2. Social media platforms and websites (think BoredApe avatars)
  3. Print your NFT (with QR code)
  4. Digital NFT frames
  5. Metaverse galleries/ Physical galleries

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