Curio Cards
The First Art NFTs on Ethereum

Overview and History

Curio Cards is the First Art NFT project on Ethereum, launched as an online gallery art show on May 9th, 2017. Curio used the distributed network Ethereum to create a new model for creation and ownership of digital artwork -- a model that allows digital artists to create unique pieces of rare collectible art, get directly paid for their work, and interact with collectors in entirely new ways. Today this has become an entire field of digital art popularly known as NFTs.
Curio Cards is a collection of digital art numbered from 1 to 30, featuring artwork from 7 different artists. Each numbered series has unique artwork and a fixed supply of digital prints, ranging in supply from 111 to 2k cards. There are a total of 29.7k cards, with an estimated 4k currently lost or destroyed. All Curio Cards were created in 2017, and no more can ever be created.
Curio has had an influential impact on modern NFTs. The two most popular NFT standards developed later (ERC721 and ERC1155) share many design elements with Curio Cards, with ERC721 noting and referencing Curio Cards. These shared elements include:
  • Purchasing the initial artwork directly from a smart contract
  • Embedding the artwork’s IPFS hash (a unique fingerprint used for decentralized storage) into the nft smart contract
  • Using non-divisible tokens with a fixed supply
  • Using multiple different tokens in the same collection
  • Ownership of a token representing ownership of public digital artwork
Curio Cards pre-date, and are thus not compatible with, popular NFT marketplaces like OpenSea. To enable trading on OpenSea, a wrapper was developed that can take Curio Cards and “wrap” them inside a modern NFT card. This has allowed original Curio Cards to be traded by a whole new generation of NFT collectors.
Last modified 2mo ago