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Christie’s Adopts NFTs to Auction Digital Artwork by Mike ‘Beeple’ Winkelmann

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Christie’s Adopts NFTs to Auction Digital Artwork by Mike ‘Beeple’ Winkelmann
Photo: Christie's

The 250-year-old auction house will be auctioning an NFT of one of the most popular digital artists Beeple. For this, Christie’s has partnered with the digital marketplace MakersPlace. 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have seen significant growth and growing adoption over the last few years. The 255-year-old auction house Christie’s announced that it will soon auction a digital artwork by Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann using NFTs. For this, Christie’s has also partnered with digital marketplace MakersPlace.

The auction will happen between February 25 to March 11. This is for the first time that one of the world’s most popular auction houses will be using NFTs. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) allow artists and collectors to guarantee the provenance of digital work. Besides, it does this by verifying the authenticity and ownership of the digital asset securely on the blockchain.

The thing with NFTs is that each NFT is unique and non-interchangeable. Thus, unlike other common digital assets, NFTs can’t be replicated, thereby ensuring scarcity and collectibility.

As per the announcement, Beeple’s will be auctioning “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS”. This includes a collage of thousands of pieces of digital art posted online by Beeple since 2007. The buyer shall receive a direct delivery through a unique NFT encrypted with Beeple’s signature. The official announcement states:

“Minted exclusively for Christie’s in February 2021, this monumental digital collage marks the first time Beeple’s work will be sold at a major auction house. It’s also the first-ever purely digital artwork (NFT) to be offered at a traditional auction house, with its authenticity assured thanks to blockchain technology”.

Success of Beeple with Selling His NFTs

This is not the first time that digital artist Beepple shall be selling his NFT. In fact, the crypto artist has had a huge success selling his digital artwork NFTS for a combined value of $8 million, in the past. MakersPlace CEO and co-founder Dannie Chu said:

“This historic event marks a significant inflection point for both the digital art and the fine arts industry, bridging the apparent gap in the global recognition for digital art”.

Even it is not the first time for Christie’s for hosting a Digital portrait NFT. Last October, the popular auction house auctioned Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto‘s digital portrait. It had large circular pieces of art inscribed with Bitcoin data. This digital portrait has its own NFT which sold at a price of $130,000.

Noah Davis, a postwar and contemporary expert based in New York called this development crucial for digital arts.

“Christie’s has never offered a new media artwork of this scale or importance before. […] Acquiring Beeple’s work is a unique opportunity to own an entry in the blockchain itself created by one of the world’s leading digital artists,” said Davis.

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