Beeple: the first major auction of crypto artOn February 25, 2021, Christie’s – one of the leading auction houses worldwide in terms of fine art revenue – promoted an online auction for a single lot, a non-fungible token-based artwork by American artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple. It was the first time that a major auction house put on sale an NFT digital artwork and accepted cryptocurrency for the sale.
The piece, a digital collage named “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”, attracted 33 potential buyers. When looking at the age of the bidders, the majority were Millenials, with only three percent of bidders coming from the Baby Boomer generation. Meanwhile, 55 percent of bidders were based in the Americas. On March 11, 2021, the lot was ultimately sold for the astonishing price of 69.3 million U.S. dollars, making it the most expensive artwork sold online to date. Not only that, but it was also the third-highest auction price for a living artist’s work, behind Jeff Koons and David Hockney. The buyer, only known by the pseudonym of Metakovan, was a Singapore-based investor and co-founder of the crypto fund Metapurse.