A French street artist has found a way to bring Bitcoin to the art world. By incorporating QR codes in his murals, he is able to receive donations directly from passers-by who appreciate his artworks.
Pascal ‘PBOY’ Boyart started adding Bitcoin QR codes to his street murals in November 2017, and he has so far received over $1,000 in cryptocurrency donations from people who just wanted to show their appreciation and support for his art. The donation system is extremely simple and fast – anyone with a smartphone and a Bitcoin wallet can just scan the QR code in the mural and transfer funds directly to the artist. Boyart isn’t sure if he is the first artist to use this system, but he definitely sees others relying on decentralised currencies going forward, as it cuts the middlemen – art galleries or crowdfunding platforms – allowing artists to directly connect to their audience.
Photo: Harvey Marshal/Instagram
“I first included a Bitcoin QR code in my work in November 2017,” Boyart told Hard Fork. “I painted a street art piece of a child asking his father ‘Dad, what is money?’ and I placed a QR code at the side of my signature. I wasn’t sure if someone had done this already, but I wanted to see if people could support street artists with donations.”
Boyart had nothing to lose and everything to gain, and looking back, he wishes he would have done it sooner. The French street artists first heard about Bitcoin in 2014, but like so many others, he didn’t really understand what it really was, thinking of it as just an alternative to PayPal. It was in May of last year, when everyone started talking about Bitcoin, that he started learning more about it. Artnet reports that PBOY took six month off from painting just to study cryptocurrency, and then started incorporating it in his art.
All the young artist needed to do was order a laser-cut QR code stencil and spray-paint it next to his beautiful murals, and people started donating to him. So far, he has received 0.11 Bitcoins (over $1,000), but as more and more people get into cryptocurrencies, it’s safe to assume that donations will increase as well.
“The most interesting aspect is decentralization – a peer-to-peer horizontal system, art and creation need that, I believe,” Pascal Boyart said. My street art costs me a lot of money in materials and painting, but instead of funding alternatives like [crowdfunding platform] Ulule, I wanted a solution that offers direct financial relation with the people. Bitcoin is perfect for this.”
In case you can’t make it to Paris to see PBOY’s murals firsthand, you can still show your support by scanning his cryptocurrency QR codes on his website. Apart from Bitcoin, he also accepts Etherium and Litecoin.