History of Crypto Art

History of Crypto Art and Crypto Collectibles

A Chronological Review of Crypto Art, Blockchain-related Physical Art and Crypto Collectibles


Ever since I started following the crypto world in 2017, I was fascinated by its pace. At increasing speed, blockchain technology seemed to reach for the traditional art world. With crypto art, I discovered a potential paradigm shift for digital art, which led me to co-author a position paper on crypto art.

Ahead of its time, the first crypto art was tokenized on the NameCoin Blockchain with Monegraph in 2014. However, user-generated, digital trading card games on the CounterParty blockchain such as Rare Pepes shaped and promoted the concept of rare digital assets.

Initially intended as a blog post, this overview grew quickly, so I decided to curate a list of relevant milestones instead. It includes milestones in the history of crypto art, crypto art galleries, physical blockchain-related artworks and events, blockchain technology in the traditional art world, and first digital collectibles.

The following selection is a work in progress, subjective and vast, yet doomed to be incomplete. Please drop me a note of any relevant milestones I have missed; I would greatly appreciate it.

Highlights in the History of Crypto Art

The first crypto art was tokenized on the NameCoin Blockchain with Monegraph (Monetized Graphics) by Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash during the Seven on Seven conference hosted by Rhizome at the New Museum on May 2, 2014.

Other notable early crypto artworks were issued on the Counterparty blockchain, such as Rhea Myers' tokenized MYSOUL on November 11, 2014, the FDCARD created by game studio EverdreamSoft on March 11, 2015 or the Rare Pepe created by Mike on September 9, 2016.


  • First ASCII tribute/eulogy/image on the Bitcoin Blockchain

    Often referred to as ASCII BERNANKE, Dan Kaminsky embeds the first tribute/eulogy and ASCII image in honour of cryptographer Len Sassaman.

  • Launch of Casascius Coins
    October 25th, 2011 - Launch of Casascius Coins

    Mike Caldwell starts issuing Casascius Coins, which are physical metal-plated or pure gold Bitcoins including authenticity holograms with private keys.


  • Proposal of Coloured Coins
    March 27th, 2012 - Proposal of Coloured Coins

    Yoni Assia's Coloured Coins introduce the idea of cryptocurrency to represent other assets, which is arguably the beginning of non-fungible tokens.










Footnotes & References

F1016 - Date confirmed with Cryptograffiti via Telegram April 22nd, 2020

S1416 - Date confirmed with Joe Looney via Telegram March 28th, 2021

N0416 - Date confirmed with Cryptograffiti via Telegram May 5th, 2020

A2917 - Date confirmed with Mitchell via email March 28th, 2021

A1117 - Date confirmed with Gus Grillasca via Instagram February 12th, 2021

D0118 - Date confirmed with Mintable via Twitter Feb 11th, 2021.

M2118 - Date confirmed with Jonas Lund via Instagram May 6th, 2020.

M2318 - Date confirmed with founder Nathan via Telegram March 18th, 2021.

J2018 - Related Medium post about project's end

D2218 - Date confirmed with MoCA founder Benoit via Twitter on June 12, 2020

A0119 - Date confirmed with Mintbase-Cofounder Carolin Wend via Twitter April 15th, 2020

A2819 - Date confirmed with Rendar founder Mark Date via Twitter February 10th, 2021

A3119 - Date confirmed with Coldie via Twitter May 4th, 2021

O2419 - Date confirmed with Rarible-Cofounder Ilya Komolkin via Telegram April 16th, 2020

J2720 - Date confirmed with co-founder NateAlex via Twitter February 27th, 2021.

M0420 - This tweet sparked the initiative and Matt Kane explains the process during a recorded Clubhouse talk.

J0720 - Date confirmed with Cryptograph via Twitter February 16th, 2021

N0520 - Date confirmed with Byron Murphy of Ephimera via Telegram December 6th, 2020

D0320 - Date confirmed with co-founder Chris Tramount via Telegram August 12th, 2021

J1821 - Date confirmed with SIGN Art via Twitter August 10th, 2021

J0221 - Date confirmed with co-founder Bianca Lessard via Twitter September 2nd, 2021

More About Crypto Art

What is Blockchain?

How to Collect Crypto Art?

Where to Collect Crypto Art?

Did I Miss a Milestone?

Please drop me a note of any relevant milestones I missed; I would appreciate it. Please add a date and reference link such as a blog post, article, etc. which documents the milestone date and gives more information.

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