Canon Jumps Into NFTs, Building a Digital Art Market Called Cadabra
Canon USA has announced the development of Cadabra, a curated photography marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The Cadabra marketplace will “empower creators by connecting them to enthusiastic collectors who celebrate the art of photography through a shared appreciation for these digital artworks,” explains Canon.
Canon is the latest photography company to launch an NFT marketplace, following Meta’s announcement last fall that creators would be able to mint their own “digital collectibles” on Instagram.
The NFT space is still a confusing one for many visual artists. Some artists have made significant money selling NFTs, including Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, who sold a single JPEG image in an online auction for a staggering $69.3 million in 2021.
In its guide to NFTs, PetaPixel explains NFTs: “NFTs are verified using the blockchain, which is basically a transparent history of ownership, purchases, and trades that no one can edit and anyone can see. The blockchain ensures there will always be a trace from the current owner to the original creator.”
To sell NFTs, artists “tokenize” a digital good, like a photograph, and upload it to an NFT marketplace for sale. Artists have control over the sale of their goods without needing to make physical copies, while prospective owners become the verifiable possessor of a digital good via the blockchain.
CEO of NFT marketplace Bitski, Donnie Dinch, told PetaPixel that NFTs offer photographers new opportunities to earn money. “I think that the biggest reason is that you can monetize yourself easier,” Dinch said. “There’s a market for photography, but with the proliferation of things like Instagram, where a lot of photographers are putting out incredible content and getting tons of likes, but haven’t been able to convert that into paying rent.”
Concerning Cadabra, Canon hasn’t announced many specific details about how its new curated NFT marketplace will operate. Canon says it will share information about creators and Cadabra’s “first drop” later this year.
Canon is previewing its Cadabra digital marketplace at the annual NFT.NYC event that’s currently ongoing at the Javits Center in New York City.
“The digital art will range from landscape, wildlife, lifestyle, sports, abstract, and other categories to spotlight the stunning work of the invited creators,” Canon says.
At launch, the Cadabra marketplace will only be available in the United States, with additional availability arriving at an unspecified time.
Some NFT marketplaces require users to buy items with specific cryptocurrencies. Canon says that Cadabra will support cryptocurrency wallets and credit and debit cards. Digital art on Cadabra will be minted on the Ethereum blockchain.
Expanding beyond the digital space, Canon says that creators of all levels will also have the choice of offering purchasers prints with their initial drops, which Canon will fulfill, allowing the digital content owners to have a physical item to display.
Photographers interested in Cadabra can sign up on Canon’s dedicated Cadabra website to receive information as soon as it’s available.
This isn’t Canon’s first foray into NFTs. Last June, Canon announced that several members of its Canon Legends program minted a limited collection of photo NFTs on the NFT marketplace Immutable Image. “The Legends Mint” collection included photograph NFTs from accomplished photographers Sam Abell, Barbara Bordnick, Gregory Heisler, Ryszard Horowitz, Walter Iooss, Jr., Melvin Sokolsky, and Joyce Tenneson.
Ahead of Cadabra’s launch later this year, photographers can learn more about making money using NFTs in PetaPixel’s guide, “How to Create and Sell NFTs for Free.”