Since the Bitcoin community find out about the young German artist who created a work of art inspired by our favorite cryptocurrency, Kuno Goda has been at the center of several conversations. Some may love his work and some may not, but one thing is obvious: Goda got everyone talking about the influence of Bitcoin in another field of our daily lives, the world of art.
So Bitcoin Examiner decided to talk with the artist, who got inspired in Andy Warhol’s “200 One Dollar Bills” to create his piece “200 Bitcoins”. He lives in Hamburg, Germany, and even studied engineering before becoming a full time artist.
How did you discover Bitcoin?
Kuno Goda – I knew Bitcoin existed for quite some time. But is was only in the beginning of this year when I really dove into it and researched it in detail. It was a good time to do it, because this way I could better evaluate and filter the wave of reporting during the hype and crash in April.
Do you own any Bitcoins?
I do own a small amount of Bitcoin for experimental reasons.
How did you come up with the idea for this piece “200 Bitcoins”?
Like most people, I was a little sceptical of Bitcoin when I first researched it. It’s very hard to get a grasp of it as a beginner, which I think is one of the major problems Bitcoin is facing right now. It’s easy to write it off as something with no intrinsic value. But so are most other currencies. When I realized it’s even the same with most artworks I knew I had to make something.
Have you been contacted about the painting by clients or critics, for instance?
I received a lot of feedback from the art and Bitcoin communities. Most of it positive. Some of them said the usual “this is not art, I could do this”. But I’m used to comments like these by now. I have been contacted by some potential buyers, as well. But I haven’t sold it yet.
People are really enjoying your work. Do you agree that this type of initiatives makes Bitcoin evolve to another level?
Bitcoin is still very much a phenomenon in the tech community. Ultimately more people must become aware of it and make it more mainstream. I hope “200 Bitcoins” can be a small part of this shift. I wish to make the art world aware of Bitcoin – and cryptocurrencies in general – and the advantages it offers to the artists. Allison Schrager and many others pointed out that the art market is broken. Providing artists and galleries with the tools to easily sell artworks to art lovers and dealers all around the world could be one step to fix the art market.
How do you see the Bitcoin scene in Germany?
I have the feeling that the Bitcoin scene in Germany is the Bitcoin scene in Berlin. I’m not much experiencing a scene here in Hamburg. So Germany is not yet the crypto-wonderland some news outlets want it to be.
Your country is working to regulate Bitcoin. Do you see that as a positive thing?
That really could turn out to be a double edged sword. On one hand, it’s great that they acknowledged it as a ‘unit of account’. I wish the next step would be that the European Union and other countries would do the same. On the other hand, it could be a first step towards stricter regulation and possible interference with the freedom of transaction. In the end it all comes down to how it influences the tax income of the government. Right now the Bitcoin ecosystem is still small enough that it’s easy for the regulators to be generous.
What about the future of cryptocurrency?
I’m very excited to see how cryptocurrencies develop in Africa. Many people there are much more used to pay with their cell phones [Kenya and its M-Pesa program, for instance]. Many governments in Africa are not very stable and thus trust in the currency is very low. I think that is perfect soil for Bitcoin to blossom.