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A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) for a digital artwork has sold for $69 million, one of the latest high-value sales in this cryptocurrency trend.
The eye-watering amount went to American artist Mark ‘Beeple’ Winkelmann for his piece called ‘Everydays – The First 5000 Days’. The piece was sold at British auction house Christie’s on 11 March.
Christie's is proud to offer "Everydays – The First 5000 Days" by @beeple as the first purely digital work of art ever offered by a major auction house. Bidding will be open from Feb 25-Mar 11.
— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) February 16, 2021
It marks the first time the auction house has sold a digital work of art.
According to the company, the sale makes Winkelmann one of the three most valuable living artists in the world.
‘Everydays – The First 5000 Days’ is part of an art project Winkelmann started in 2007. The artist creates and publishes a new artwork everyday, and the NFT is the sum of nearly 14 years worth of work.
The Christie’s lot essay for the artwork described it as “Society’s obsession with and fear of technology; the desire for and resentment of wealth; and America’s recent political turbulence appear frequently throughout the work”.
What is an NFT?
A non-fungible token is a cryptographic item similar to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But unlike Bitcoin, the token contains unique information which means has its own one-of-a-kind value and cannot simply be interchanged.
NFTs can represent anything that can be digitally produced, such as art, music, or movies. Like trading cards, multiple NFTs of the same object can be minted by the creator.
Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are accessible and operate on blockchains. They operate as digital tokens that can verify ownership of digital items.
Demand for NFTs continues
Digital art in the form of NFTs has become very popular in recent months among art collectors and sellers.
In February 2020, YouTube star Logan Paul sold $5 million worth of a Pokémon-style trading card with a cartoon image of himself.
Even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is getting in on the NFT craze. Dorsey has put an NFT of his very first tweet, which reads “just setting up my twttr”, up for auction.
At the time of writing, the highest bid for the NFT amounted to $2.5 million.
Meanwhile, Winkelmann’s art has also seen increased value thanks to the boom. This is not the first time Winkelmann has sold an NFT for a large amount.
In October 2020, he sold a pair for $66 666.66 each. And in December, he sold another series of artworks for $3.5 million.
Feature image: Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels