After Christie’s announced its plans to auction off a work of crypto art by the rising digital artist, Mike Winkelmann aka Beeple, in an online sale two weeks ago, the attraction surrounding non-fungible tokens has escalated immensely. Beeple’s NFT artwork entitled The First 5,000 Days is comprised of 5,000 images that the artist made over a 13-year period. The 10-day auction came to a close this Thursday morning with the artist fetching an unprecedented $69.3 Million USD sale price.
As per Christie’s, the sale drew an unexpected frequency of bidding that elevated the price of Beeple’s NFT to the millions mark despite the price of work starting at just $100 USD with no pre-sale estimates considering it’s a new form of art with various implications. Bloomberg reported that the buyer is Justin Sun, founder of cryptocurrency platform Tron.
This past Friday, bidding was at $4 million USD. A few days later it was up to $9.75 million USD and by this Thursday morning it had surged to $14.75 million USD. In the last few minutes of the sale, bids rose to $50 million USD and then the record-smashing hammer price of $60 million USD. According to the auction house, 55 percent of the bidders were based stateside, 27 percent in Europe and 18 percent in Asia, with 64 percent of those participants in the Millennial and Gen Z age groups.
“Artists have been using hardware and software to create artwork and distribute it on the internet for the last 20+ years but there was never a real way to truly own and collect it. With NFT’s that has now changed. I believe we are witnessing the beginning of the next chapter in art history, digital art. This is work that has just as much craft, message, nuance and intent as anything made on a physical canvas and I am beyond honored and humbled to represent the digital art community in this historic moment,” said Beeple in a statement.
Another work by Beeple sold for $6.6 million USD through Nifty Gateway at the end of February. At the time, it was the most expensive digital work ever auctioned. Head to Christie’s website to learn more and stay tuned for more NFT-related news on HYPEBEAST.