Sotheby’s to sell ‘first’ NFT at online auction

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Sotheby’s auction house hopes to woo both traditional art collectors and crypto enthusiasts with a digital art sale in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Online auctioning is the latest step for a major auction house to embrace NFTs – a form of blockchain-based asset that certifies ownership of a digital object. Read more

“Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale” will run from June 3-10. It features works by 27 digital artists, including “Quantum” by Kevin McCoy, a simple geometric animation that Sotheby’s says is the first known NFT, premiered in May 2014.

Also on sale is an Alien CryptoPunk NFT: “CryptoPunk # 7523”. CryptoPunks are a series of 10,000 unique pixel-art characters created by Larva Labs in 2017. There are nine of the sought-after alien variety, two of which have grossed over $ 7 million in previous sales.

For each purchase, the NFT will be sent to the buyer’s cryptocurrency wallet; no work of physical art changes hands.

Auctions start at $ 100 and buyers can pay in regular cash or in bitcoin and ether cryptocurrencies.

Sotheby’s first NFT auction was held in April, with digital works by the artist known as “Pak” totaling $ 16.8 million. Read more

Michael Bouhanna, contemporary art specialist at Sotheby’s in London, said that although the April sale was dominated by crypto-native buyers – people who profited from recent cryptocurrency price hikes – NFT works of art are increasingly attractive to existing customers.

“I saw crossovers with our base of collectors, very active in contemporary art, who are very intrigued and wanted to know more,” he said.

NFTs can represent ownership of digital assets including images, videos, music, trading cards, cryptocurrency wallet names, and even land in online virtual worlds. Read more

They exploded in popularity in February and March. An NFT work of art brought in $ 69.3 million at Christie’s, in the first sale by a major auction house of a work of art without physical form. Read more

Since then, the frenzy has cooled somewhat, with sales plummeting in April. Read more

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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