KnownOrigin is a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace where anyone can discover and collect rare digital art. Art collectors can select from all types of digital art posted by vetted artists showcasing their unique creations.
The platform also includes a secondary marketplace where art collectors can re-sell artwork that they’ve already purchased.
Here’s our review of KnownOrigin, where you can discover everything about fees, accepted currencies, and the pros and cons of the digital art marketplace.
What Is KnownOrigin?
Technically speaking, KnownOrigin is a digital art platform that uses blockchain technology to store digital art and facilitate sales using cryptocurrency, specifically Ethereum (ETH).
KnownOrigin was founded in 2018 by David Moore, Andy Gray, and James Morgan, making it a newer NFT marketplace. It is a decentralized app (DAPP) built on a fully secured network that combines a smart contract and a front-end user interface. Some of the best NFT marketplaces include OpenSea, Nifty Gateway, and SuperRare.
According to Knownorigin.io, “KnownOrigin makes it easy for digital creators to authenticate, showcase, and sell their artwork on the Ethereum Blockchain. Every digital collectable on KnownOrigin is authentic and unique. Blockchain technology makes this new approach to digital ownership possible.”
As of February 2021, KnownOrigin had “1000+ artists on the platform, over 7,000 editions, and more than 11,000 digital artworks sold totaling $1.3 million in sales to date.”
How Does KnownOrigin Work?
Digital art creators submit an artist application to have their work featured in the KnownOrigin.io gallery, also known as the primary marketplace. Upon acceptance, they may begin posting art for sale. All files are held on the IFPS and given unique NFT token numbers, which can be tracked.
All digital art files are held on the IFPS and given unique NFT token numbers, which can be tracked. When someone buys a piece of digital art, they purchase the art file, also known as an NFT token.
According to the co-founders’ statement on Steemit, artists have complete control over how many copies of their work will exist, meaning that once all the artwork has sold, no more will ever be created again.
This factor means that these art pieces will eventually become scarce. The co-founders also assure art buyers that blockchain technology keeps the transfer history of each digital artwork transparent.
In addition, there is no intermediary required, as collectors can purchase the digital art through smart contracts that split the commissions. It means that the artists don’t have to wait for remuneration, as the funds are immediately transferred to them.
To buy or sell digital artwork on KnownOrigin.io, you must set up an account (you don’t need an account to browse art for sale). To set up an account, you need a digital wallet. KnownOrigin recommends using MetaMask, which is an extension to the Chrome or Firefox browser.
After installing MetaMask, you must save your private key to recover your NFT tokens in the future. After installation is complete, you will find a Profile button in the top right-hand corner of the page. Artists must complete a profile page, which is part of the vetting process when filling out an artist application. Collectors don’t have to complete a profile, but it helps the community get to know you if you do.
Setting up a profile lets users upload a personal image and a cover image, write a bio, set their social profiles, and enable notifications. Notifications alert sellers when they make a sale.
For more information on how to set up an account and profile, see this video from KnownOrigin.
What Currencies Can You Use on KnownOrigin?
You pay for digital assets that you purchase on KnownOrigin with Ethereum (ETH) that is stored in your digital wallet. In addition to MetaMask, the wallet that KnownOrigin prefers, you can also connect to Fortmatic, Portis, or WalletConnect.
KnownOrigin also offers “pay with card” and “add funds” features, allowing for purchases via credit or debit cards. These features were designed to empower anyone who has never used cryptocurrency before to be able to use the KnownOrigin marketplace.
What Types of NFTs Can You Buy on KnownOrigin?
KnownOrigin allows you to buy unique digital artwork (also known as unique NFTs), including drawings, paintings, and animations. You can buy the digital art directly from the artists who created it (in the primary marketplace) or buy it from art collectors (i.e., sellers) in the secondary market.
In addition to creating single pieces of work, some artists also create and post series and collections to the platform. KnownOrigin allows the artist to post up to 36 unique images in each collection. Buyers can purchase single NFT tokens (i.e., single pieces of art) from each collection or as many pieces as they want.
How Do You Buy an NFT on KnownOrigin?
To purchase on KnownOrigin, you must first have an account. Once you see the artwork you would like to buy, you may do so directly if the purchase price is listed. If the artist is asking for bids, you have to place an offer.
All digital assets on KnownOrigin are purchased by using your digital wallet. The wallet must contain ETH, which is the currency used on the KnownOrigin platform. The price of each piece of digital art is shown in both ETH currency as well as US Dollars.
Keep in mind that there will be fees associated with the purchase of digital art. This fee is known as “gas.” Gas fees are used in Ethereum networks. KnownOrigin recommends this resource to learn more about Ethereum gas.
Do You Need To Store Your NFTs? How Do You Do So?
Once your transaction is completed, you are issued the unique NFT token number for your digital art, which is automatically stored to the IPFS on a blockchain. There is nothing more you need to do. You can view your art in your My Collections section of the KnownOrigin platform.
How Do You Sell an NFT on KnownOrigin?
If you are a creator, you submit an artist application to sell your art on KnownOrigin. If approved, you are enabled on the platform and can begin to upload your works of art to the primary marketplace. Artists digitally sign their work by creating a token certificate, on which the unique token number for the piece of art appears.
The platform offers digital artists numerous opportunities to promote theIr work, for example, by posting directly to Instagram and Twitter. It also provides a feature called “unlockable content,” which gives creators the ability to share content exclusively with token holders of their artwork. In essence, this gives buyers access to extra content from the creator, for example, high-res images of the art, physical copies of the art, information about their creative process, and more.
The secondary marketplace is newer to the KnownOrigin platform. Token holders who want to sell their collectibles on KnownOrigin must create an account, upload the token(s) (i.e., the digital art), and either set a minimum bid or a “buy” now price.
Selling Options on KnownOrigin
Artists and sellers may sell their artwork for a set price or enable bidding (a minimal offer is an option) — it is their choice. All prices are set in Ethereum (ETH), and works are paid for with ETH. Sellers have the ability to send counter-offers if someone submits a bid.
KnownOrigin’s smart contract handles all payments and commissions directly on a blockchain. Commissions are paid in ETH directly to the seller’s digital wallet.
KnownOrigin’s primary sales royalty and fees are:
- 85% artist
- 15% commission fee
The secondary sales and royalty fees are:
- 85% seller
- 12.5% artist
- 2.5% commission fee
Is KnownOrigin Safe To Use?
Yes, KnownOrigin is safe to use, as it is backed by blockchain technology. According to the KnownOrigin team, “The combination of smart contracts and ERC-721 (non-fungible token) compliance adds a level of transparency and security that have never been seen before.”
What are smart contracts? BlockGeeks describes them as “a conflict-free way to exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent way, avoiding the services of a middleman.” In more technical terms, they are “self-executing automated contracts with specific instructions written in code that get executed when certain conditions are made — they are how things get done in the Ethereum ecosystem.”
BlockGeeks uses the analogy of a vending machine to help visualize how smart contracts work. Each step of the buying process is recorded on a blockchain, so there is complete transparency, and everyone is accountable for their actions. More in-depth information about smart contracts is provided here.
Even with smart contracts in place, anyone who wants to purchase any type of NFT should be aware of general safety practices. This guide from nonfungible.com can help.
Pros and Cons of KnownOrigin
The pros of KnownOrigin include:
- KnownOrigin gives artists a secure way to showcase and sell their digital artwork.
- KnownOrigin gives collectors a place to re-sell rare digital artwork they’ve already purchased; the creator gets a 12.5% commission fee, ensuring that they continue to earn royalties every time their art is re-sold.
- The platform has a community in place and offers options for creating buzz and excitement over new art.
- It’s secure — using ETH and smart contracts enables KnownOrigin to ensure that “chain-of-custody” for each NFT token sold on its platform is permanently maintained.
- It’s designed to be easy to make purchases — simply link your digital wallet or pay with a debit or credit card.
The cons of KnownOrigin include:
- There is solid competition — as mentioned earlier in this article, other players in the digital art and collectibles marketplace include OpenSea, Nifty Gateway, and SuperRare.
- KnownOrigin is a newer company that makes changes often — KnownOrigin was founded in 2018 around the same time as some of its competitors. It makes changes frequently; however, most of these changes are around improving the user experience.
- The Docs, Guides, and Help section of the KnownOrigin website can be a bit difficult to navigate. It’s not always a quick process to find answers to questions.
- Ethereum is the only currency accepted — this can be a pro or a con depending on your feelings toward ETH.
- The NFT marketplace is new — no one can predict with certainty what will happen with the digital art marketplace, and you may incur losses in your investments.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you become an artist on KnownOrigin?
You must have a portfolio and submit an artist application to become a primary seller on KnownOrigin. There is an extensive vetting process in place before an artist is accepted. At this time, applications are currently closed.
Do I have to set up an account to browse the digital art that is posted on KnownOrigin?
No. You only need an account if you want to sell art in the platform’s primary or secondary marketplace.
Do I have to pay with Ethereum?
Yes, Ethereum (ETH) is the currency used to purchase digital artwork (i.e., NFT tokens) on KnownOrigin using your digital wallet. KnownOrigin also offers the ability to use your credit card or debit card to facilitate the transfer of money into ETH.
Can I re-sell digital art that I’ve already purchased on KnownOrigin?
Yes. There is a secondary marketplace set up in KnownOrigin. You must create an account to be able to sell on the secondary market. You can set a price or enable bidding.
Is there a community where I can learn more about KnownOrigin?
Yes, the community is live on Discord.