Thanks to the combined efforts of four ’90s era West Virginia Wesleyan College classmates and five pioneering West Virginia-based artists, the great State of West Virginia has the distinction of being home to the world’s very first state-themed NFT project!
Titled 1863nft (for obvious reasons!), the project is comprised of 304 individual digital assets representing 50 pieces of original art.
“We’re all fascinated by the potential of the consumer blockchain to empower individuals,” said co-founder, Rob Raffety. “Verifiable digital assets with real-world utility align the interests of buyers and sellers – audiences and artists – in exciting and unexpected ways.”
As explained in various media interviews, the aim of 1863nft is to rally a community of West Virginia & web3 enthusiasts to celebrate the positive virtues of the state through a boutique collection of digital art depicting iconic people, places, and things associated with the Mountain State. Over time, the creators hope to add “utility” to token holders in the form of perks and discounts.
As featured on the Daily 304’s Innovators and Entrepreneurs bi-weekly segment
While blockchain technology is still quite new, several of the artists involved with 1863ft have actively worked in the space, including Jamie Lester, creator of Bird Girl NFT.
“I’m always excited about emerging mediums of artistic expression,” explained the award-winning Morgantown-based artist. “The opportunity to join a group of fellow West Virginia artists to celebrate all that’s great about this state was a no-brainer.”
Tokens are currently for sale via a randomized process and minted directly to the Ethereum blockchain for the price of ~$55 each (payable via credit card or ETH). Once tokens are minted and revealed, they are viewable on NFT marketplaces, such as OpenSea.
As a registered 501c3 nonprofit, proceeds from the sale of 1863nft tokens benefit the five contributing artists and select several WV-based arts & tech-ed nonprofits. The four founders are donating their time to the effort as a labor of love – the ultimate testament to learning by doing.
For more information, visit www.1863nft.com or follow the project on Twitter and Instagram @1863nft.