Cryptoart: Why not ScreenShot?

Collin Dyer, Esq. PhD.
5 min readSep 8, 2020

Because you can’t taste THE JUICE if you don’t own THE GOODS.

This post seeks to answer the question: “Why spend on cryptoart, when I can take a screenshot (or make my own gif)?”

(If you get lost, I suggest a quick review of Devin Finzer’s “NFT Bible,” which is both accessible & comprehensive)


  • The highest priced painting EVER is hidden in a boat.

In the traditional (physical) art world: when you buy an artwork, you get two associated rights: The Right to Transfer & The Right to Display. The Right to Transfer means you can re-sell it, with appreciation if you select wisely. The Right to Display means you can choose whether or not the public can enjoy access to the work. In traditional art, if you wanted to buy and hide artwork, you could. For example, Salvator Mundi by DaVinci — the highest selling artwork ever — has been hidden away in Saudi crown prince MBS’s yacht for years.

In addition, traditional artwork suffers from an authentication problem, which I have discussed in a prior article “Trust is Required in Cryptoart.” Properly authenticating a traditional painting can take years and hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Cryptoart changed this dynamic between artcollector and the public, because the buyer no longer gets the exclusive Right to Display — you can’t hide cryptoart in your yacht because it’s on the blockchain for all to see. And, because cryptoart is open and available for all to see; you don’t have to buy it to enjoy it.

This has led to some confusion, and nearly every week on Twitter some new influencer gets the bright idea to copy/paste some spectacular imagery made by a cryptoartist, rather than buy and own it. So: the point of this piece: WHY BUY CRYPTOART? Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

$4M Baseball Card featuring Mike Trout. Reproduced pursuant to the Educational / Fair Use exemption.


Let’s start with an analogy: baseball cards. The Mike Trout card above recently fetched $4M at auction. It’s a #1 — completely unique, not another one like it in the world (save for my saucy remixes but I’ll spare your eyes)

Collin Dyer, Esq. PhD.

Art collector. Former lawyer & biochemist. Explorer of blockchain, IoT, AI, sensors, patents & big data. I believe that cryptocurrency will change the world.