Damien Hirst NFT collection lands investors up to 6000 percent profit in just six weeks

Originally available for US$2000, wannabe purchasers will now need to spend US$52,000.
Originally available for US$2000, wannabe purchasers will now need to spend US$52,000. Photo credit: Getty Images / Supplied

Controversial British artist Damien Hirst embraced non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with a twist in July - and it's already paying dividends for those who invested.

Hirst, famed for artworks featuring dead animals in formaldehyde, created 'The Currency' in July, which involved 10,000 near-identical paintings of spots.

Each of the US$2000 A4 artworks were signed and numbered by Hirst - but also corresponded to an NFT. 

Purchasers had up to a year to make the decision about whether to take the physical copy or the digital version - with the paper copy burned if the latter was chosen.

And now those who chose to forego the fungible version are making a huge premium.

The top price paid so far is US$120,614 for a work titled 'Yes', reports Artnet, marking a 6000 percent return on investment for the original buyer.

It's considered one of the rarer pieces in the series because it has a single word title. 

HENI, the company that partnered with Hirst to create 'The Currency' series, ranks the rarity of each piece based on the density of the spots, colours and the title, which are all based on song lyrics liked by the artist.

OpenSea, an NFT marketplace, has reported a 250 percent increase in trading in Hirst's works over the last week.

That has seen the floor price - the minimum anyone investing can expect to pay for one - rise to 16 ethereum, which is currently worth just under NZ$74,000.

And, with a 57 percent increase in trading over the last 24 hours, those prices are only going to get higher, at least in the short term.

Recent sales of even non-rare pieces have achieved a premium - like 'Paint this romantic letter', which sold earlier today for NZ$138,500.

"This project is firstly about art and people, but it explores belief and value generally, and in particular value in art," Hirst said.

With sellers already making more than 10 times what they paid, then it's clear there's both value in art and in NFTs.