NFTs Disrupting The Art Market: How An NFT Sold For $69 Million

NFT art is disrupting and changing the way artists view their craft and how to monetize their creations.

From a business standpoint, NFT art represents a dynamic shift and provides an opportunity for smaller, less known artists to capitalize on their work.

Here’s how artists like Mike Winkelmann a.k.a. Beeple have chosen to ride the NFT art train and what you too can glean from them. But first, what exactly is NFT art?

What is NFT art?

NFT art — non-fungible token artworks are digital representations of original works of art whose ownership can be proved on the blockchain. These tokens act as both proof of ownership and serve to authenticate art. All sorts of media can be sold under the banner NFT art including music tracks, videos, websites, pictures, and GIFs to name a few examples.

Everydays — The First 5000 Days and Making History

On February 25, 2021, British auction house Christie’s, put their first-ever pure NFT up for sale. It was Beeple’s collage of images from his iconic “Everyday’s” series.

Within a month, the art piece had been scooped up by crypto investor Vignesh Sundaresan for a staggering $69.3 million. This made Everydays: The First 5000 Days, one of the most expensive artworks from a living artist.

Beeple’s Road to Selling NFTs at Christie’s

What many people don’t know is the fact that Winkelmann didn’t set off to sell his artwork as NFTs.

Despite graduating from Purdue University in 2003 with a major in computer science, it wasn’t until 2020 when the concept of NFT art was introduced to him by non-other than fellow digital creator Pak that he began to take an interest.

Among Pak’s own works is the NFT piece Merge, sold on Nifty Gateway in December 2021 for a record-breaking 91.8 million. It is the third-highest grossing artwork by a living artist.

Determined to now sell his works as NFT art meant trying out different marketplaces. Winklemann made headway at an auction house at ETHDenver. In addition, he managed to also sell a few more pieces on Nifty Gateway just like Pak.

Crossroad, an animation-type art piece depicting the contenders of the 2020 U.S. presidential election was first sold for $66,666.66 but later resold in February 2021 for $6.7 million.

By now, major auction houses were beginning to take notice of Winkelmann and decided to give him a chance. The only other NFT Christie’s had sold prior to taking on Beeple’s Everyday’s was Block 21, a non-fungible token that came with a tangible painting. Block 21 had been purchased in October 2020 for $130,000.

The Future of NFT Art According to Millionaire Digital Artist

Winkelmann scored big again in 2021 with the second sale of his creation a kinetic video sculpture accompanied by a complimentary NFT titled Human One, sold again by Christies for $29,958,000. In spite of this two-fold success, Winkelmann doesn’t believe in NFT art as a sustainable business model.

It’s an “irrational exuberance bubble”, Beeple has said and will eventually burst. Winkelmann warns investors about the extremely speculative nature of digital assets.

Despite such ominous predictions, the NFT marketplace worth over $7 billion, only seems to be growing. It really does appear that NFT art’s disruption will continue for the foreseeable future.

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David Streltsoff

David Streltsoff

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