Damien Hirst Sets Physical Art on Fire for NFT Project

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Damien Hirst sets physical art on fire to see if digital art holds more importance

The artist Damien Hirst brought something new to the blockchain that raised questions about whether or not physical art is more important than digital art.

Today, more than half of his NFT collection, The Currency, was burnt in exchange for a piece of his physical artwork.

But what’s the deal with Hirst’s masterpieces being set alight?


Damien Hirst is a world’s renowned artists who’s no stranger to be known for being a little out of the ordinary.

Hirst is best known for works that preserve dead animals, including “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” which featured a 4-meter-long tiger shark in a formaldehyde-filled tank.

He then began creating physical artworks for his “The Currency” collection using enamel paint in 2016. Following the crypto market explosion, the collection of art was then minted into NFTs in 2021.


All of Hirst’s “The Currency” pieces are unique. Some pieces include a watermark, holograms of the artist, and microdots. All colours used are also dissimilar.

Nevertheless, the paintings do have some aspects in common. Hirst stamps, numbers and titles all artwork to prove authenticity.

On the back of his physical artwork, you can also find song lyrics of his favorite tracks jotted down.

Despite the project not looking like a big deal at first glance, they have a twist. All Currency owners got the opportunity to decide whether or not they wanted to burn their digital assets in exchange for a physical piece of art.

Conversely, if the holder chose to hold onto their NFT, Hirst burned the physical artwork. 

More than half of the NFT holders (5,142) opted to switch their digital assets for a physical piece of Hirst’s art. Thus, the remaining 4,858 works of art went up in flames.

Following this bizarre purpose, the digital assets from the collection went up to $7,500 from $2,000.


As you most likely gather, the collection experiments the value between physical art against digital art.

The event’s outcome proves that fans of Hirst still appreciate NFTs despite the bear market.

The experiment also shows that around the same amount of crypto collectors appreciate physical art as much as they do digital.

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