He Keeps Art NFTs Hot in Crypto Winter

The generative artist raised $17 million in September before his QQL collection was even minted, a highlight amid the NFT market downturn. That’s why Tyler Hobbs is one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022.

AccessTimeIconDec 5, 2022 at 12:26 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 6, 2022 at 3:26 a.m. UTC
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Cam Thompson is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

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Amid the harsh crypto winter conditions, non-fungible token (NFT) sales have slumped, too. NFT artists and auction sites hoped the long-anticipated Ethereum Merge would kick the market back into action. But the data after the Sept. 15 event ended up being disappointing.

Looking back on the NFT markets since the end of white-hot 2021, however, there was a cause for excitement: generative art as a medium for creating art NFTs has been on the rise, and artist Tyler Hobbs has been a force in keeping this NFT art form relevant. Generative art utilizes an algorithm to randomly create a piece of digital art. Each artist carefully crafts the code behind their work, and the beauty is in seeing what visual effects are unleashed. The rise of NFTs has prompted generative artists to put their work on-chain.

In September, Hobbs sold mint passes for his generative art collection QQL, raising $17 million before anyone knew what the minted piece would look like. According to data from NFT marketplace OpenSea, the collection currently has a 111 ETH trading volume, or $135,138, with a floor price of 15 ETH, or $18,262.

QQL wasn’t Hobbs’ first large success with generative art NFTs. In October 2021, he released Fidenza, a generative art collection, which, according to OpenSea, has amassed a 54,253 ETH, or $66,050,857, in trading volume and has a current floor price of 95 ETH, or $115,659.

Of course, that was when NFTs were the hottest thing in crypto and the art market in general. What makes Hobbs’ work exciting is that despite the NFT market slump since the beginning of 2022, buyers are still flocking to his work. In September, one wallet purchased eight Fidenzas, nearly $900,000 of Hobbes’ work.

“Projects like Fidenza and QQL are really new works that couldn't have happened prior to the blockchain and prior to NFTs,” Hobbs told CoinDesk. “NFT's have been fantastic for digital media, but there happens to be, you know, this real synchronicity with generative artwork that has allowed them to really flourish together.”

While Hobbs released Fidenza during the NFT hype of 2021 and QQL in the chilling crypto winter of 2022, both collections’ performance data illustrates how his generative art transcends market conditions, and may continue to set the pace in the future.

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Cam Thompson is a news reporter at CoinDesk.


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Cam Thompson is a news reporter at CoinDesk.