THE NFT market saw a sharp downturn in 2022 as a result of the cryptocurrency collapse. This phenomenon is pushing industry players to innovate to give this technological innovation a second wind with initiatives like open-edition NFTs.

Open editions are a type of non-fungible token, i.e., certificates of digital value registered on a blockchain. Most NFTs offered for sale are unique or limited editions: they only exist in the form of one unique copy or are available in a limited quantity pre-defined by their creators.

For example, "Everyday: The First 5000 Days", a digital creation by Beeple which sold for $69.3 million in March 2021, is a unique-edition NFT, while CryptoPunks NFTs are limited editions.

Open-edition NFTs are somewhere in between these two models. The creators of the NFTs allow purchasers a period of time, usually between 24 and 72 hours, during which they can purchase as many non-fungible tokens from the same collection as they wish.

After that time, no more can be purchased. Some open-edition sales may be open-ended, but they are rare in the market.

The concept of open editions is not new in itself. The American artist Beeple, the star of the NFT world, tried it out in December 2020.

At the time, he offered three of his works - "BULL RUN", "INFECTED" and "INTO THE ETHER" -- as open editions. Collectors had just five minutes to buy as many NFTs of these works as they wanted.

But this type of NFT drop was gradually abandoned in favor of unique and limited editions, which are generally more lucrative because of their rarity. However, open editions are making a comeback, driven by prominent crypto-artists who want to make NFTs more accessible.

Among them are Terrell Jones, Lucrece, Marcel Deneuve and XCOPY. The latter sold 7,394 NFTs from the "MAX PAIN" collection in just 10 minutes, in March 2022. An operation which is said to have earned the artist $23 million.

Faced with the craze for open-edition NFTs, specialist platforms such as Zora and Manifold are offering budding crypto-artists the chance to create them in a few clicks.

But this isn't to everyone's taste. Some collectors worry about a potential collapse of the NFT market if too many open editions appear on the market at the same time. Others fear that the NFTs they own will lose value if the artists who made them start making open editions.

33, a collector and NFT specialist, says open publishing may be a relevant choice for crypto-artists whose single-edition digital works reach astronomical sums. "Generally, I wouldn’t recommend any artist to drop an open edition until their 1-of-1s have become unaffordable for most," the expert told nft now.

"There should also be a good reason for the open edition. I’d much rather see a limited edition of 50, 100, or 1,000 if the artist so wishes. But I like to know what that number is."