Christie’s Auction House To Sell Its First Digital-Only Artwork: The Rise of the NFT Continues

The pace at which NFTs are being adopted is truly staggering. In the last seven days we have seen Topps including redeemable codes for NFTs in their physical trading card packs, a Street Fighter NFT card collection rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars in twenty-four hours, and multiple celebrities get involved in one way or another. Now we have another first for the sweetheart of crypto and an inspiring story to boot.

The name Mike Winkelmann will not mean a lot to many people. His alias under which he creates art, Beeple, is known by far more, but some distance from fame. That changed significantly in December when he sold his digital artworks at NFTs where twenty-one unique works sold for in the region of $100,000 each, pulling in a total of over $3.5 million. Now, he’s going to be auctioning work off at famed auction House, Christie’s, in a monumental moment for both Christie’s and NFTs.

Beeple is a digital artist of extraordinary resolve and talent. As is often the case with viral creatives, his overnight success was thirteen years in the making, but his story is more impressive than that. From the humble beginnings of drawing with a pen and paper, through to complicated creations on Cinema 4D, Beeple has been creating an artwork every single day for these thirteen years. He has cultivated his artistic eye and skills in an incredible journey dating back to 2007 and amassed a following to boot. Now, he’s legitimizing NFTs as collectible at the highest level.

Beeple’s artwork to be auctioned is a mosaic of his work over the last 13 years called “Everydays — The First 5000 Days”. Rather than paraphrase Christie’s press release about the importance of this auction, I’d like to quote a particularly poignant section, which is music to us blockchain-believers’ ears.

Digital art has an established history dating back to the 1960s. But the ease of duplication traditionally made it near-impossible to assign provenance and value to the medium.

The recent introduction of Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technology has enabled collectors and artists alike to verify the rightful owner and authenticity of digital artworks. EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS will be delivered directly from Beeple to the buyer, accompanied by a unique NFT encrypted with the artist’s unforgeable signature and uniquely identified on the blockchain. MakersPlace, a digital marketplace, has issued the NFT for the piece.” —

The problem of provenance and value (which is in turn tied up in provenance) in digital files is the very reason many of us are excited at blockchain’s application and why we believe in NFTs. With every passing day, the reason to believe in NFTs grows, and with it, its following. The future for digital assets is bright and verifiable.

Lead Image by Ars Electronica via Flickr, used under Creative Commons.

Robert Baggs
Robert Baggs
Full-time professional crypto writer and Editor of Token Gamer. Co-host of the Mint One Podcast. Obsessed with MMOs. London based. Primary holdings: WAXP, ENJ, & BTC. Secondary holdings: ETH, GALA, & MATIC

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