CryptoPop! brand proponent and BloomX Co-founder Luis Buenaventura II is one of the first Filipino NFT (non-fungible token) artists to debut on the Binance NFT marketplace, making his work accessible to art patrons and investors from all over the world. Having just sold an NFT art piece worth $400,000 or a whopping PhP 19.5 million in just ten minutes through a collaborative project with Argentinian comic book artist Jose Delbo last March, Buenaventura demonstrates that he is the most profitable and highest-earning Filipino NFT artist to date.
According to Buenaventura, “My two great loves are cryptocurrency and art. Through NFT Art, I find them converging into one singular path. My advocacy now is to open doors and bring opportunities for fellow Filipino artists to succeed in this arena as well.”
NFT technology helps promote art and reach larger audiences, affirmed Amor Maclang Philippines, Executive Director of the Fintech Philippines Association (FPH), the most inclusive financial technology trade association in the Philippines and which is a founding member of the Asia Pacific Fintech Network. Maclang, who is also a co-convenor of Digital Pilipinas 2021, said, “Through the use of modern technology, art transforms into something that only a few can appreciate to something that anyone with access to the internet can partake in. Art then is democratized through technology.
The Binance NFT marketplace features all forms of digital artworks and collectibles and provides the highest liquidity platform for users to launch and trade NFTs. Buenaventura was one of the only Filipino artists invited to participate in the platform’s launch last June 24, as it introduced innovative creators to NFT collectors and enthusiasts around the world. What makes Buenaventura’s works unique is the combination of technology and artistry that serves to showcase Filipino ingenuity. For his latest work, he seamlessly wove traditional Filipino instrumentation like the kulintang with post-modern cyberpunk.
Maclang said, “This is changing the way art is being produced, ownership of art is being done. This really paves the way for an altogether different asset class to come in and finally be taken seriously.”
PH crypto scene pioneer
In 2015, Buenaventura co-founded BloomX, a beginner-friendly start-up that brings cryptocurrency trading and modern money services to the Filipino common man.
Demonstrating his authority in the cryptocurrency scene, Buenaventura authored two books revolving around the bitcoin industry namely, Reinventing Remittances with Bitcoin published in 2017; and The Little Bitcoin Book published in 2019.
As a forerunner in the Philippine digital currency industry, Buenaventura has been building tech startups in the country for over a decade now. His expertise in the cryptocurrency scene has been recognized internationally with organizations from over a dozen countries inviting him to present at national conferences held by the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Brookings Brum Roundtable, and many others.
Buenaventura is also credited as the pioneer of the Philippine NFT art scene through his CryptoPop! digital art brand initiative. He became one of the world’s first NFT artists when he minted his first piece in early 2017.
PhP 19.5-M NFT art sold in 10 minutes
In March 2021, Buenaventura made history by being the first Filipino NFT artist to sell an art piece worth $400,000 or PhP 19.5 million. His art piece, ‘Satoshi The Creator – Genesis,’ which was released on Nifty Gateway and sold 222 editions for $1,999 each or PhP 97,000, is a special collaboration with legendary 87-year-old Argentinian comic book artist Jose Delbo, mostly known for illustrating the Beatles with Gold Key Comics for the Yellow Submarine in 1960’s.
According to Maclang, “Everyone’s talking about blockchain and crypto and how it’s all so hypothetic. This is an actual use case.”
Buenaventura took up Fine Arts from the University of the Philippines. “My background has always been art, but I took a heavy detour into technology in my younger years,” Buenaventura said. “I started getting into cryptocurrency because of my company (BloomX). I found that there is a growing movement of artists that were creating art to promote crypto culture.”
Most bankable Filipino NFT artist
Although the art world has only started paying attention to NFTs in 2020, Buenaventura has already been moving actively and carving his own space in the NFT art scene much earlier, with works focusing on popular, crypto-inspired art like ‘Supper at the Bitcoin Moonbase’ released in 2017.
The digital art world is bound to grow even bigger as more and more people get into cryptocurrency. Buenaventura said, “This makes the globalization of art possible. More Filipino artists can find their space in the global NFT market and compete on a level playing field. Collectors all over the world can take a look at their work. Never has there been a time when artists could reach a global stage through technology.”
This pioneering art-technologist also acknowledges, “Art is a collaborative process. Some of my most successful pieces were collaborations that highlighted the best of both artists involved. I want to work with other artists so that they can find their footing in this new world.”
Philippine FinTech leader Maclang affirms, “The idea of co-creation and collaboration is really what makes this era for artists and technologists truly exciting.”
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