An immensely talented seven-year-old elephant decided to join the all-growing NFT space by making his own art.
Art that shows everything this elephant sees – trees, animals, blue skies, or even self-portraits can now be purchased as NFT by Tunwa from the Maetaeng Elephant Park & Clinic in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
A portion of the revenue generated from the token sale will go to support the elephant park, home to more than 80 elephants who thrive in a humane environment where elephant paintings have actually been taking place for more than 20 years.
Schenck confirms that, when it comes to NFTs and the overall interest in such of an investment, at this point, the biggest interest is not in the art itself, but the opportunities NFT offer as a trading platform.
“In short, investors are looking for items that can either be collected for the long term or items that can be flipped for a profit within a short time span.
“We think this will change as the NFT-market matures and there will be new and innovative expressions of digital art, in all its forms,” he said.
Furthermore, Schenck explained the ways how the NFT market is undergoing some very exciting changes, from being an “underground” art collection platform to moving into the mainstream markets.
“There is basically nothing new about the art itself but what makes NFTs different is the platform and the opportunities for new and existing artists to sell their work in a completely new way,” he asserted.
“Just as with any new market, there is a huge competition and today there is an abundance of amazing art,” he said and noted that NFTs are valuable because they are designed to be scarce.
“So, in an increasingly digital world, collectors and investors are looking for more authentic and personal offerings and NFTs are a great way for artists to reach new audiences and develop innovative business models in terms of ‘delivering’ their work, whether it be paintings, sports cards, music, films – you name it,” Schenck said.
Using elephant NFT as funding source rather than relying on tourism
At EAO, they accept crypto payments as well but they have chosen not to register as a charity but rather accept donations and sell their art.
Schenck said that there’s really nothing like it in the world where a few elephants can paint under the humane guidance of elephant caretaker images that most people could not even imagine was possible.
“The proceeds from our NFT sales will be invested in expanding our elephant hospital that is already available for free to 800 elephants in the area around our park in Northern Thailand.
“Our goal is to be able to use crypto and NFT as a funding source instead of relying on tourism. If we can make this a working model, we plan to expand this concept and help other struggling animal parks in Thailand and elsewhere.
“Our buyers and investors will also get regular reports on how the money is invested. We believe this first NFT will not only be a great investment but will also bring more awareness to the importance of animal welfare and the preservation and protection of the elephant,” said Schenck showing his regrets that the elephant population has experienced significant declines over the last century across Asia and Africa.
Schenck also argued that even though an NFT is merely a platform that opens new doors to generate money, money will always be the driver of any new technology.
“How we all use this tool remains to be seen. We believe it will evolve in the same direction as a traditional art gallery, but with much more potential and opportunity.
“No doubt NFTs can be used for good. Some say it’s the next new fundraising frontier. NFTs have allowed charities, celebrities, and individuals to auction off their digital creations, with all or most of the proceeds going to a charity of their choice.
“We are using our NFT art to support the lives of more than 80 elephants in our park alone and provide medical assistance to over 800 elephants in Northern Thailand,” he explained.
Dapper Labs is among the biggest investors
When talking about the biggest investors, Schenck mentioned Dapper Labs, the start-up behind the digital basketball trading card platform NBA Top Shot, which has shown that sport-focused NFTs are a huge area when it comes to investing.
“I believe Top Shot is now valued at $7.6 billion. Entertainment companies, top venture capitalists and venture firms are also jumping into the NFT market in a very big way.
“Up to now, almost all investors in NFTs are in it for profit,” he said but added that there is for sure an opportunity for more philanthropic investors to enter the scene though soon.
“It’s already starting to happen. In our case, this is an excellent opportunity to be part of something good and still earn something tangible to prove it. This token of charity also carries the opportunity to make a profit,” he added.
The idea to create the world’s first-ever NFT art made by an elephant became a natural extension for us to leverage what has been taking place for more than 20 years at our elephant park.
He also explained the sweeter side of creating NFT such as watching an elephant enjoying doing what he likes.
“This painting took Tunwa a little over four hours to produce, including snack breaks and time off to walk around the park and eat bananas, one of his favourite treats.
“The elephants are never forced to paint and when they lose interest they come back later to begin again.
“So, on the one hand, buying an Elephant Art NFT is an investment into what is easily some of the most unique paintings on the planet — the pieces are head-turning,” he said.
Schenck also added that the lucky bidder will also have opened the door to usher in a brighter future for the herd.
“For the old elephants and the ones yet to be born. It’s not just a purchase, it’s a contribution to help support these massive mammals who have been a national symbol of Thailand for more than 800 years and are an icon at the very heart of its people’s history and culture,” he concluded.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.