Street Artist Adds QR Codes for People Who Like His Art to Send Him Virtual Tips

One entrepreneurial street artist has found an innovative way to earn a living from his art. Paris-based artist PBOY has been incorporating QR codes into his murals, allowing appreciative passersby to virtually tip him in Bitcoin when they scan the code. It's an ingenious way to take advantage of cryptocurrency and leverage it into a crowdfunding model that is uniquely his own.

PBOY started including a QR code alongside his signature in November 2017 as an experiment. And surprisingly, it worked. To date, he's received about $1,000 (0.11 Bitcoin) which is helping him pay the necessary materials and expenses to keep working in the street. “Instead of funding alternatives like [crowdfunding platform] Ulule, I wanted a solution that offers direct financial relation with the people,” he shared with Hard Fork. “Bitcoin is perfect for this.”

The artist didn't just dive into cryptocurrency without any knowledge. He first heard of Bitcoin in 2014, but like many people, didn't have a full grasp of what it was or how it worked. Then, in May 2017 he dedicated six months to researching decentralization and cryptocurrencies in order to have a firm grasp on what he was getting into. The result is a system that is disrupting how the public and artists interact.

Noting that it can free artists from galleries and traditional institutions, PBOY's bold move is an example others are sure to follow. “The most interesting aspect is decentralization—a peer-to-peer horizontal system,” he shared. “Art and creation need that, I believe.”

French street artist PBOY allows passersby to donate Bitcoin in support of his work thanks to a QR code stenciled on the wall.

So far, he's earned around $1,000 in donations from his cryptocurrency experiment.

PBOY: Website | Instagram | Twitter
h/t: [Oddity Central]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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