Christie’s has become the first major auction house to sell an art NFT with the piece fetching $69.3 million. Learn about this landmark art NFT sale here.
NFTs are rumoured to be the future of digital art and become a hot commodity for investors. Those forecasts have recently taken off through one particular digital artist called Beeple, known to his friends and family as Mike Winkelmann.
In 2021, Beeple sold one of his digital pieces of art called Everydays: The First 5000 Days as an NFT for a staggering $69 million. The sale was made through the infamous Christie’s auction house, which stated that the sale put Beeple among the top three richest artists alive. Learn more about this industry-shaking moment here and what it could mean for digital artists of the future.
What is an NFT and why do artists sell them?
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, which is a type of digital token that is 100% unique and cannot be edited or counterfeited. They are traded through blockchains which is part of what makes them so secure, often the same blockchain that ETC coins are traded on.
The NFT gives the owner of the NFT true and authentic ownership of that NFT and the data that is stored on it, which could be any digital asset. For example, the first-ever tweet was sold as an NFT for almost $3 million.
NFTs have been tipped to have a big future in the art industry, paving a way for artists to be able to sell original digital art to collectors and galleries. This provides a new secure marketplace for artists and also creates another avenue of investment for buyers.
The Sale of ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’
The sale of Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days took place at Christie’s in 2021 and fetched just over $69 million. The art is a collage of a long-term project where the artists would create a single piece of art each day, sometimes crude sketches.
This was a landmark sale because it was the first NFT to be sold through Christie’s and was the second most expensive piece of art sold at the auction house in that year, which further legitimises the future of the NFT art trade.
A staggering 22 million people oversaw the sale of the NFT with a reported 60% of onlookers under the age of 40. This reflects a broader trend identified elsewhere, in that more young people are becoming interested in the art market and becoming collectors.
Beeple’s Previous Works
Rewind to October 2020 and the most Beeple has sold a single piece of art for was around $100. In the same month, he sold a pair of NFTs that fetched $66,666.66 each. Later that year, he sold a number of works for a combined total of $3.5 million. This prompted the buyer of the previous NFT to re-list it on the market just a few months after the original purchase. This time it sold for $6.6 million.