Market Musings

Major Auction House is Selling Digital Artwork NFTs for the Very First Time

Published on:
February 16, 2021

The digital auction is called Everydays: The First 5,000 Days by Mike Winkelmann, otherwise known as Beeple.

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Non-fungible tokens have been having a moment recently, with a wide range of celebrities and noteworthy figures jumping on the bandwagon. 

Now, Christie’s — hailed as the world’s finest auction house — has announced that they will hold the first-ever auction of a completely digital blockchain artwork. 

The digital auction is called Everydays: The First 5,000 Days by Mike Winkelmann, otherwise known as Beeple. Aimed at new and younger collectors, it’s going to take place as a standalone sale. 

Launching on Feb. 25 and running until March 11, the auction will feature Beeple’s depiction of society’s ever-changing obsession and fear of technology. Over the past 13 years, the digital artist has published a new piece of art every day. 

Fittingly, the artist’s commentary on the fear of technology will embrace crypto, which is shaking up the art world. Each piece of work will carry a unique digital token encrypted with the artist’s signature which can be identified on the blockchain. This process verifies the authenticity of the art and its rightful owner. 

The NFTs for the work were created by MakersPlace, a marketplace for digital creators, with starting prices of $100. The winning bidder gets a digital file encrypted with the signature of the artist. Noah Davis, Christie’s post-war and contemporary specialist, said:

“Not unlike the advent of Street Art as a blue chip-collecting category, NFT-based art is on the threshold of becoming the next ingeniously disruptive force in the art market.” 

Even though NFTs are becoming increasingly prevalent, not everyone is convinced they have real-world staying power.  Litecoin founder Charlie Lee, recently shared his thoughts that the prices of non-fungible tokens would crash, as supply outweighs demand. 

This wouldn’t be Christie’s first foray into the digital art space, having auctioned artwork created by artificial intelligence that was trained by Obvious, a Paris-based collective. 

The work surprised skeptics by hitting $350,000 in a fast-paced six-minute auction, where the presale estimate was just $10,000

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