NFTs have swept up the phenomenon of digital art. For those who don’t already know, NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens,” are essentially a blockchain-based digital certificate of authenticity. When assigned to something like a piece of digital art, it creates a one-of-a-kind work of art that can be bought, sold, and traded online just like paintings or sculptures. A $69 million sale of a digital image that doesn’t even exist in the physical world was presided over by none other than Christie’s auction house, a leading authority on art.
[We wish we could have provided you with a picture of the sold item, but there weren’t any pictures in our Getty Images database, and we assume that anything that has just sold for $69 million is very well copyright protected.]
The $6.6 million “Crossroads,” which was also a Beeple artwork that sold at that price last month, has now been surpassed by “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” as the most expensive piece of digital art ever created. This gives you an indication of how historic the past few weeks have been for digital art.
NFTs can’t be directly exchanged for cash like cryptocurrencies are, but they do have the potential to appreciate on the open art market, just as traditional paintings do. And each time a piece of digital art is sold, usually a still photo or video, the original creator gets a portion of the money.
It apparently took more than 350 bids to get “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” to the ultimate price of $69.3 million after the bidding started at only one dollar. In another milestone represented by the sale, the price will be paid in Ethereum, the first cryptocurrency of any kind to be accepted in a sale by Christie’s.