Sotheby’s sale of digital-only artwork brings in $16.8 million

Are these collectors out of their mind? Check this: An online sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by digital artist Pak sold for a total of $16.8 million at Sotheby’s Online, including an image of a single pixel which went for $1.36 million. And the collector gets to own a digital file! (WHOOPIDOODAH!)

An NFT is a form of blockchain-based digital asset which took off publicly in 2021, with prices soaring as collectors and enthusiasts scrambled to buy the items which only exist in digital form. Last month, an NFT artwork sold for nearly $70 million dollars and was the first sale ever by a major auction house of a piece of art that doesn't exist in physical form. (It's practically all in the mind, well virtually!)

The sale, called “‘The Fungible’ Collection”, had an unusual structure, and in one part comprised of a series of digital cubes that could bought for $500 to $1,500 each, collectors receiving a number of NFTs depending on how many cubes they own.

The artist in this case is known only as Pak, with the Twitter handle @muratpak.

The sale also included four limited edition NFTs given to the winners of specific tasks, including paying the highest amount for a Pak artwork on the secondary market and posting the hashtag #PakWasHere to the biggest social media audience. Thus serving to add even more value for the collector.

(For the woefully ignorant among us, including this editor, The secondary market is where investors buy and sell securities they already own. It is what most people typically think of as the "stock market," )

An NFT called "The Pixel" - an image of a single pixel fetched $1.36 million after a longish bidding battle.

The NFTs in this case were represented by animated images designed by Pak. They are three-dimensional white and grey shapes on a black background, apart from the pixel, which is just a grey square.

In each case, the NFTs exist only in digital form, with blockchain acting as the account to verify the status of the participants involved.

Sotheby's said the sale was targeted towards "crypto-native" collectors. (Obviously not the crypto-naïve!)

The auction house is gunning for this new tech-savvy audience. The sale took place online on the Nifty Gateway platform, which is owned by Gemini. Gemini is the cryptocurrency exchange owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. (And if you understand all of the above then you're cleverer than the folks here at Art-Eklecto!)

See definition of fungible:





'Of goods contracted for without an individual specimen being specified, able to replace or be replaced by another identical item; mutually interchangeable.

However, do visit this interesting platform and try your luck.......they seem to be lovely people!