Even if you don’t quite understand cryptocurrencies, you’ve probably heard that Bitcoin and its many siblings are the way of the future. Now, one artist has come up with a new way to benefit directly from this still-nascent technology by inviting passersby to donate to him using a Bitcoin QR code, which he affixed to his murals.
The brainchild behind the idea is French street artist Pascal “PBOY” Boyart, and the artist’s embrace of the digital currency is already paying dividends. As of this writing, Boyar has made 0.11 Bitcoin (about $1,000) from 23 donors thanks to his clever embrace of cryptocurrency. The feat has even caught the attention of Reddit.
Boyart was intrigued by the idea of being able to connect directly with the public and to receive money for his work without going through a middleman. So, he took six months off from painting to learn about this new technology. The donation process that resulted is decidedly simple: Anyone with a smartphone and a Bitcoin wallet can scan the QR code on the mural and make a digital payment that goes directly to the artist.
“I think that the times we are living are difficult for free-minded artists,” the artist told artnet News in an email. “It looks like the Impressionist era, with an official art of academic artists and the others that you have not much chance to see in an international art fair.”
One of Boyart’s recent murals shows Rembrandt van Rijn reading through a large tax bill—the celebrated Dutch Gold Age master struggled to make money throughout his career, despite creating some of art history’s best-known works. The piece is titled Rembrandt dos au mur, or Rembrandt Back Against the Wall, a pun on the artist’s financial situation and the work’s wall mural nature.
The work can be found on the Rue Riquet, where an over 1,640-foot street art wall was created in December 2015, on a bridge…