Through art platform Nifty Gateway the first unique crypto art artwork made by Beeple sold for $6.6 million. This is by far the most expensive digital artwork and NFT ever sold. The original buyer acquired Crossroad before the US Elections four months ago and paid $66.666,60 for it, outbidding their competition.
The buyer chose to remain anonymous. Nifty Gateway confirmed the purchase is legitimate, as it was brokered by Nifty Gateway’s art buying services.
Nifty Gateway was the first platform where Beeple sold some of his artworks. The first unique one was Crossroad, which originally showed a battling Trump and Joe Biden. Depending on the official outcome of the elections the artwork would change to either a ‘sexy boi king Trump stomping through hell forever’ or the current version as shown in the header of this post.
Why would someone pay this much for digital art? First of all, digital art has proven uniqueness through the blockchain. However, probably more important in this case is the fact that it’s the first crypto artwork done by Beeple. Mike Winkelmann, as Beeple is called in real life, will today become the first person to auction a digital artwork in exchange for crypto through Christie’s. In addition, the artwork tells a story of one of the most memorable political moments in modern history.
What are NFTs?
NFT is the abbreviation for non-fungible tokens, which are tokens that signify ownership over unique digital assets. These assets can for example be items in a game, crypto art, or digital collectibles. In addition it could also be a ticket for a cinema or perhaps a subscription for public transit. The usability of NFTs doesn’t end with gaming, it only starts there.
A non-fungible token can’t be swapped one-on-one with another non-fungible token. It represents something unique. That’s why non-fungible tokens can be based compared with rare art, an owned house or a signed mint edition of a certain comic book. These products are unique and in the same way a non-fungible token is unique as well. This gives non-fungible tokens also an unique value that only represents that one specific token.
What is crypto art?
Crypto art is a piece of digital art that is tokenized on the blockchain as a non-fungible token. That means that the owner of the token will always hold a proven and original copy of a piece of art. Just like physical art, there can be unlimited copies. But ultimately there can only be one Mona Lisa.
Mostly we value art for its aesthetics and cultural relevance, but above all on the ability to verify the creator and its proven rarity. With blockchain technology these last two features are part of the blockchain. Everybody can see and confirm who minted these original creations.
The concept of seeing a digital image as art, is one thing. However, for many people it will be a challenge to consider digital images as valuable. Consider this: The Mona Lisa is worth many millions of dollars. If I would paint the Mona Lisa in an exact copy, it would be worth only 50 dollars. Because we all know where the original version is. Being able to verify the authenticity and rarity of a piece of art is crucial. In the end everything can be art. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a still image, moving image, video, music or a combination of everything.
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Robert Hoogendoorn is a gamer and blockchain enthusiast. He got in touch with crypto in 2014, but the fire really lit in 2017. Professionally he’s a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games & tech industry. He’s a content manager and creator at heart, working on Play to Earn and for a variety of third party magazines and websites.