Art-Collecting in the Digital World: A Roundtable Discussion on NFTs

Join us in this upcoming roundtable discussion on the topic of art-collecting in the digital world organized by Arcades Digital and supported by Crypto Valley Association and Swissnex in China.

An NFT, or “non-fungible token”, is a unique, digital certificate that is stored on a blockchain and provides certain ownership rights for a digital asset. NFTs are implemented in various fields, but most notably in digital art collecting. Some trace the birth of NFTs to an artist-technologist collaboration in 2014; since then, it has attracted attention from the art, crypto, academic circles and alike. With projects such as CryptoKitties going viral in 2017, NFTs have entered the public realm in recent years.

The technology behind NFTs is perceived to revolutionize art collecting, and it continues to push its boundaries while taking the spotlight with some of its high-profile auction results. In March 2021, artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, sold his digital artwork entitled “Everydays – The First 5000 Days” for US$69.3 million at Christie’s, resulting in the third-highest auction price achieved for a living artist, after Jeff Koons and David Hockney. In August 2021, artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s “Transient Eternity—101 Ignitions of Gunpowder Paintings” sold for 2.5 million USD and set the record for the highest NFT sale from a non-crypto-native artist.

While NFTs inherently possess a high level of authenticity and provide clear histories of ownership, which can be problematic in traditional art-collecting, this new technology is controversial. Many have compared NFTs to the dot-com bubble, and criticized its climate pollution problem.

The upcoming Special Event gathers a researcher, artist, and practitioners in the field of digital art creating and collecting. Joining the roundtable will be, in alphabetical order: Arielle Dubois, Co-Founder of Arie Art Agency and Junior Associate at B&B law firm; Christoph Ebell, Founder/CEO of Arcades Digital and member of Crypto Valley Association; Dr. Touradj Ebrahimi, Professor of Image Processing at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL); the artist No1 [No one], exhibiting his physical and digital paintings at Take a chance; and Qinwen Wang, China Community Lead of Web3 Foundation.

The five panelists will take their unique point of view on NFTs. Curator Dubois will speak about curating and collecting digital art, Ebell will discuss how NFTs enable new forms of collecting and owning art in the 21st century, Prof. Ebrahimi will speak about sustainability and trust in digital art and NFTs, artist No1 will introduce his artwork and creating process, and Qinwen will share her insights on the impact of NFTs in the art field in China.


16:00 – 16:05              Opening Remarks

Christoph Ebell – Founder/CEO, Arcades Digital; Member of Crypto Valley Association

16:05 – 16:50              Roundtable Discussion (In alphabetical order)

Arielle Dubois – Co-Founder, Arie Art Agency; Junior Associate, B&B Law Firm Geneva

Christoph Ebell – Founder/CEO, Arcades Digital; Member of Crypto Valley Association

Dr. Touradj Ebrahimi – Professor of Image Processing, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

No1 [No one] – Anonymous artist, Creator of Take a chance

Qinwen Wang – China Community Lead, Web3 Foundation

16:50 – 17:00              Q&A


Organized by

  • Arcades Digital

Supported by

  • Crypto Valley
  • Swissnex