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Phil Hall
Phil Hall
Feb 16, 2021

Christie's to Auction Digital Artwork by Beeple

Auction house Christie's will auction an NFT of a digital artwork made by Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple.
Christie's to Auction Digital Artwork by Beeple

Auction house Christie's will auction an NFT of a digital artwork made by Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple. MakersPlace took care of the minting, while Beeple stitched five thousand of his Everydays artworks together into one giant collection. The auction will start on February 25th with bids starting at $100, and it ends on March 11th.

Winkelmann has been producing artworks every day for the past 13 years. It started on the May 1st 2007 with a doodle of his uncle Jim, and eventually turned into gorgeous creations made using state of the art 3D software. Beeple named the unique artwork EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, and one could see it as Beeple's epos. Currently Beeple has stored the artwork in his own wallet, and he will transfer it to the winner of Christie's auction.

For Christie's this isn't the first move onto the blockchain, but it is the first time they are auctioning a completely digital creation. Back in 2018 they registered the auction of a collection onto a blockchain, while Robert Alice's Block 21 combined both a physical piece and an NFT in October last year.

Normally Christie's makes a prediction on the selling price. However, this time they won't.“We’re breaking such new ground with this piece, your guess is as good as ours", said Noah Davis, Post-War and Contemporary Art Specialist in New York. Christie's auction of Beeple artwork can be followed online through the official website of the auction house.

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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