A non-fungible token by artist Beeple sold for over $ 60 million at Christie’s, making it the most expensive NFT ever sold at auction.

The final sale price could shift as the final bids are processed and auction fees are added, bringing the total to more than $ 69 million. However, the sale closed two weeks of frenzied online bidding and ushered in a new era in collectibles, with prices for blockchain-based digital images now competing with prices for Picassos and Monets. While the future of NFT pricing and its longer-term role in the art world remains an open question and many view it as a speculative fad, the eight-figure price tag for the Beeple has suddenly taken notice of the art world.

Shortly after the auction result, Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, tweeted: “Holy # $ @”

The record work “The First 5,000 Days” was the first to be sold in a major auction house.

In 2007, Winkelmann set out to publish a new digital work of art every day for the rest of his life and never missed a single day. The first 5,000 of these works, which he calls “Everydays”, were put together to “The First 5,000 Days”.

The Christie’s Sale names Beeple one of the top three living artists in the world after Jeff Koons and David Hockney.

“At this point, especially after Christie’s sale today, the issue is not whether NFTs will have an impact on what is known as the traditional art market, but to what extent it will,” said Andrew Goldstein, chief editor-in-chief of Artnet News. He added that the award is a sign that a new group of technology-based collectors “can destabilize the company in attention-grabbing ways.”

While the number of bidders for the Beeple was small – 33 in total. They represented a new generation. According to Christie’s, 91% of bidders have never been Christie’s customers. Almost two-thirds were millennials or younger, and most were from the United States

In a previous interview with CNBC, Winkelmann said NFTs have the potential to change more than just the art world.

“As soon as I saw it, I saw it as this massive, massive potential for it as a platform for digital ownership of a number of different things, not just art,” he said. “I think this will be an alternative form of asset class going forward.”

A virtual work of art called “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”. It was designed by digital artist Beeple and is the first NFT-based artwork to be auctioned at Christie’s.

Christie’s

NFTs, which are digital assets whose owners are recorded on a blockchain, have grown into a $ 400 million market – much of it in the past month. Jack Dorsey turned the first tweet from 2006 into an NFT with a maximum bid of $ 2.5 million. NBA Top Shots, NFTs of NBA highlight videos, have become increasingly popular, with sales exceeding $ 200 million and a LeBron James video for $ 208,000. Musician and artist Grimes has sold more than $ 6 million in videos and music.

By the time it was sold by Christie’s, the most expensive NFT ever sold was a Beeple movement that was flipped over by its owner for $ 6.6 million.

It is unclear whether large art auction houses will follow suit. Sotheby’s said it made no announcements of future NFT sales and Phillips said there are no “NFT messages to share” at the moment.