Curio Cards

Curio Cards (founded May 9, 2017) is an online art show for digital artists and collectors.
It created a new form of digital artwork ownership, one without artist fees or restrictive platform DRM, using a distributed network called Ethereum.

Curio was the first Art (NFT) on mainnet Ethereum. With it, one could own a rare and collectible piece of digital artwork. [1]


Curio Cards is an online art show and permanent gallery that launched on May 9, 2017. The goal of the project was to use a distributed network called Ethereum to create a new model for digital artwork ownership -- a model that allows for the sale and collection of unique digital artwork without taking a cut of the artist’s revenue.
Today, it is the oldest known example on Ethereum of what is now called NFT Artwork and features 30 unique series of NFT cards from 7 different artists.

Curio Cards behave like "digital prints", with each series of artwork being unique but containing multiple cards in that series. Curio Cards was referenced in the ERC-721 EIP, having been developed and released before the ERC-721 NFT standard was proposed.

Thomas Hunt aka Mad Bitcoins, was asked in an interview with what gave him the idea to create the Curio Card concept? He said:[7]

"I’ve always been a collector. I collected baseball cards, books, movies and now of course cryptocurrency. People love to collect things, so I thought, why not combine my love for cryptocurrency with my love for collecting and make something fun."


Curio Cards are digital trading cards on the Ethereum . They are blockchain-based collectibles that have proven and will be a big success in the future.

Curio Cards is a collection of digital art numbered from 1 to 30, featuring artwork from seven different artists. Each numbered series has unique artwork and a fixed supply of digital prints, ranging in supply from 111 to 2154 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 Cards contains many features and concepts that were included in ERC-721 and other NFT standards, such as:

  • (between the different card series, aka 'card number')
  • Non-divisible tokens with a limited supply (within each card series)
  • Purchasing initial cards directly from a smart contract
  • InterPlanetary File System hash of the artwork embedded into the smart contract (without referencing any URLs)
  • Ownership of a token representing ownership of publicly viewable digital artwork

The original cards still work and are transferable, however since they pre-date modern NFT standards they do not conform to those standards. Instead, Curio Cards are a heavily modified Ethereum Contract token.

A wrapper was developed that lets users take their ERC-20 Curio Cards and "wrap" them inside an ERC-1155 token contract, for use on modern NFT marketplaces like OpenSea. ERC-1155 is a well-supported and flexible modern NFT standard that maps closely with Curio's original design.

No new cards will ever be released. It was originally planned to open Curio Cards up for anyone to make new cards sets and collections, but modern contract standards offer a better choice for new artists. [2]

How the cards are stored

First, the image of the Curio Card is stored in IPFS, allowing the images to be hosted on their network. Then a link to the image in an ERC20 token is stored on Ethereum.

The tokens that represent Curio Cards are unlike any collectible in history, in that at the time of their creation they are limited in number, provably rare and their entire chain of custody can be verified.

The Artists

Daniel Friedman

He is a visual artist, fascinated by visual patterns. All artworks on his page were freehand drawn (mostly during classes ) with ink on paper.

From 2008 till 11/2014 he only drew in black & white, but since the beginning of November 2014, he has been using some colors, though mainly just red.

From his perspective, drawn images offer a unique glimpse into the structure of perception. Though each pixel is intellectually understood to be binary, static, and flat, these images are living kaleidoscopes: dynamic, rhythmic, symbolic.  In 2019, he started doing some drawings on his live stream.[6]

Cryptopop (Luis Buenaventura)

He is a crypto artist and entrepreneur based in Manila, Philippines, and has been working in the Bitcoin industry since early 2014. According to him, his illustrations are his contribution to the community and aim to make the complicated world of crypto a little bit more accessible, familiar, and fun.[5]


Cryptograffiti is an American street artist whose works are focused on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain, he is also known for his inventive mediums because he doesn't just use traditional paints and ink.[4]


He is a graphic artist who has produced many Bitcoin and crypto-related visuals online. As he wanted to provide a sense of satire and humor to the digital currency world he started mixing his two favorite life elements: Movies and Bitcoin.[3]

Marisol Vengas

Marisol Vengas is an anonymous-shrouded-in-secrecy artist collective originating from Northern California. She seems to operate in an AI-induced hive mindset. Some of her works are produced by over a dozen or plus artists who have never met in real life. Some of them have discovered each other from forums and online groups, and none of them know how they've been selected to participate in the collective.

The artists don't know who they get the pieces from or where they end up. No one really knows who started Marisol, but they do know she's going to running for a long time. She's truly a decentralized living artist. Currently, she has exhibited in over 10 countries and has produced thousands of works, one can find these works from the streets of Bangladesh to the museums of Paris. Clues about her existence are littered throughout her work."

Other Artists

Thoros Of Myr

Robek World

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Curio Cards

Commit Info

Edited By

Edited On

October 4, 2022


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