Record-breaking digital artist Beeple says the NFT craze is just like the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s

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Vignesh Sundaresan bought Beeple’s “Everydays” NFT for $69 million

  • Beeple, whose digital NFT art sold for a record-breaking $69 million, said NFTs are like the early stages of the internet.
  • He told ‘The Street’ that even if NFTs are in a bubble, he thinks they will survive.
  • He said there was no reason why digital art should not have the same value as physical art.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Record-breaking digital artist Beeple, who sold a piece of digital art for a record-breaking $69 million, thinks the non-fungible token (NFT) market will evolve in the same way the internet did during the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s.

He told The Street that during the dotcom bubble, people realised there were a lot of worthless internet pages being set up, which they then stopped using and that he believes it will be similar for NFTs.

“There was a bubble with the internet, it didn’t kill the internet. People kept using the internet, it just kind of wiped out all the c***”, he said.

NFTs are digital items such as videos, visual elements or audio that are based on blockchain technology. They are unique and not exchangeable, so they are often viewed as collectors items. Usually, anyone can still see the NFT online, but only one person can own it.

Beeple believes digital art can have the same value as traditional art and that it will continue to be highly priced after the NFT hype is over and lower value content has been weeded out.

“If it creates emotional connection with people, it will have value,” he said. Creators and buyers can ensure that their work and investments will be worthwhile by keeping this in mind, Beeple said.

In March, a piece of Beeple’s digital art sold for a record-breaking $69 million at a Christie’s auction. The buyer later said investing in digital art was highly risky and he believed NFTs were in a bubble. Beeple himself has also echoed this and said a lot of crypto art will sink in price to the point where it becomes worthless.

Based on data collected by nonfungible.com, an NFT tracking and analysis hub, the value of art NFTs has been trending downwards for the past month. The number of sales, as well as the amount of money paid for them, have steadily been declining, as have the amount of unique sellers and buyers.

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Take a look at the digital ‘Mars House’ that just sold for over $500,000 – the world’s first crypto real-estate sale

"Mars House" on SuperRare
“Mars House” on SuperRare

  • A digital house sold for over $500,000 to a Toronto buyer.
  • The house can be uploaded into the buyer’s metaverse or even recreated in the physical world.
  • NFT real estate could be set to boom, according to the head of real estate group Republic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A digital home sold for over $500,000 online in March.

The house was sold as a non-fungible token, or NFT, on the SuperRare marketplace. In exchange for about $512,712 worth of ether, the Toronto buyer received 3D files and clips of the NFT piece, called “Mars House,” set to music.

The files can be uploaded to the buyer’s metaverse and used as a home for their avatar. A metaverse is a virtual world similar to “SimCity” or “Minecraft.” In the metaverse, users can buy digital assets including homes and clothes while living and interacting with other users via an avatar in the virtual world. One of the most popular NFT metaverses is Decentraland, a community-owned site where users can build their own reality.

The NFT is the first blockchain-based digital house in the world, according to SuperRare. The artist Krista Kim worked with Jeff Schroeder from the band Smashing Pumpkins to generate the music for the clip.

The house, which is set on Mars, appears to be made up almost entirely of glass.

from on Vimeo.

The artist said she was inspired during quarantine to build the digital house.

“Kim ventured into NFTs while exploring meditative design during quarantine; her hope was to use the influx of digital life as an opportunity to promote wellbeing,” the press release said. “Comprised entirely of light, the visual effects of her crypto-home are meant to omit a zen, healing atmosphere.”

Read more: What you need to know about NFTs, the collectible digital tokens that are selling for millions online

Though the house currently only exists on the blockchain, it can be recreated in real life by glass furniture-makers in Italy or via LED screens, according to the press release.

“Everyone should install an LED wall in their house for NFT art,” Kim said in the release. “This is the future, and Mars House demonstrates the beauty of that possibility.”

The over $500,000 sale is just one of many NFT drops that have captured the spotlight in recent months. Earlier in March, digital artist Beeple sold a crypto art piece for nearly $70 million. NFT sales have encompassed anything from 3D images and videos to memes and tweets.

In March, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet for $2.9 million.

Janine Yorio, the head of the real-estate group Republic, said NFT real estate could be the future of home-buying.

“I predict that the best parcels of virtual real estate will appreciate faster than real-world real estate,” Yorio said in a post on CoinDesk, showing how NFTs have already gathered value in recent months.

In February, an NFT buyer was able to flip a crypto art piece for $6.6 million, or nearly 1,000% its initial purchase price. Over the past 30 days, NFT sales have generated over $1 billion, according to CryptoSlam.

Furthermore, virtual real-estate sites like Decentraland have continued to grow in recent months. The site’s internal currency, “MANA,” has a $225 million market value. MANA prices have risen over 321% in the past year, according to Yorio.

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The mysterious buyers of Beeple’s $69 million crypto art piece revealed their real names: ‘these pseudonyms were never meant to be masks’

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  • The buyers of Beeple’s $69.3 million piece dropped their real names in a blog post.
  • The buyers said they wanted people of color to know they could use crypto as “an equalizing power.”
  • Vignesh Sundareson and Anand Venkateswaran have created the world’s largest NFT fund.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The buyers who spent nearly $70 million on Beeple’s crypto art piece revealed their identities in a blog post about a week after the purchase.

Earlier in March, the auction house responsible for the sale announced that the pseudonymous founder of an NFT fund, Metakovan, had bought the piece. In a blog post on Metapurse, millionaire entrepreneur Vignesh Sundaresan came forward as one of the buyers.

Crypto investors Sundareson and Anand Venkateswaran have been going by their online usernames @Metakovan and @Twobadour. The two said they had been dropping hints about their identity ever since they made history with the $69.3 million Beeple purchase.

“These pseudonyms were never meant to be masks,” Sundareson and Venkateswaran wrote in their post. “The point was to show Indians and people of color that they too could be patrons, that crypto was an equalizing power between the West and the Rest, and that the global south was rising.”

Sundareson and Venkateswaran’s purchase became international news as it made the artist of the piece, Mike Winkelmann, one of the most valuable living artists. In the past two months crypto art has boomed, generating over $1 billion in less than a month, according to CryptoSlam.

The two entrepreneurs started out in crypto back in 2013. Sundareson said at the time he didn’t have enough money to fully invest in Bitcoin, so he offered escrow services. Since then, both Sundareson and Venkateswaran have become the founders of the world’s largest fund for non-fungible tokens or NFTs.

Before purchasing Winkelmann’s piece on Christie’s auction site, the two had already bought 20 Beeple art pieces.

While some critics think the Metapurse founders’ Beeple investment may be an effort to simply buoy the market or stack the cards in favor of their NFT fund, Sundareson told ABC News he expects the piece to continue to gain in value.

Sundareson told CNBC on Tuesday that he would have paid even more for the piece if he had to. The bidding war for the Beeple piece came down to the last minute, as Sundareson and Venkateswaran beat out Tron CEO Justin Sun during the final moments of the auction.

“This NFT is a significant piece of art history,” Sundaresan told CNBC. “Sometimes these things take some time for everyone to recognize and realize. I’m okay with that. I had the opportunity to be part of this very important shift in how art has been perceived for centuries.”

Read the full post on Sundareson and Venkateswaran’s NFT journey on Metapurse.

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Superstar artist Damien Hirst to sell 10,000 NFTs using a new Ethereum technology called Palm

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Damien Hirst is famous for pickling sharks and encrusting skulls with diamonds

Superstar artist Damien Hirst is set to become the biggest player yet to enter the world of non-fungible tokens, with plans to sell 10,000 artworks tied to corresponding NFTs in a series called “The Currency Project.”

The artist, famous for putting a shark in formaldehyde and encrusting a skull with diamonds, will release his latest works on a new technology called Palm, which will be connected to the Ethereum network that supports the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency, ether.

It is the latest sign of the craze for NFTs following the sale of a $69 million artwork using the technology earlier in March. Snoop Dogg and Lionel Richie are among the artists getting involved in the hottest new thing in the crypto world.

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are a special class of digital assets that cannot be exchanged with one another for equal value, or broken down into smaller bits. They often operate as a type of collectors’ item and cannot be duplicated.

Hirst said in a statement his new project “challenges the concept of value through money and art.” He will produce 10,000 works on paper that will be tied to corresponding NFTs.

The 55-year-old was briefly the world’s most expensive living artist in 2007 when he sold Lullaby Spring, a medicine cabinet containing 6,000 painted pills, for $19m. He spent around $24 million encrusting a skull with diamonds in 2007, which he sold for $100 million to a consortium.

The artist’s series will be the first release on Palm. It is a new crypto technology and token created by ConsenSys, a developer group at the heart of Ethereum, working with film studio Heyday Films and art company Heni Group.

Hirst said: “Palm is by far the best platform for me. It’s new and art focused, it’s the most environmentally friendly, and it is quicker and cheaper to use. With Palm, artists can invent the future.”

Palm will be connected to the Ethereum network and enable artworks to be encrypted and secured in a more environmentally friendly way, its developers said.

NFTs exist on a blockchain, a public ledger which allows people to verify who owns the token. But the technology involved can be slow, expensive and very energy-intensive.

ConsenSys said its research and development suggested Palm will be 99% more energy-efficient than Ethereum’s main system by reducing the need for computing power, and will have lower costs and faster transactions.

It is not Hirst’s first foray into the crypto world. The artist sold more than 7,000 prints of Japanese blossom paintings in a sale ending in March, with payment possible in bitcoin or ether.

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Billionaires, celebrities, and influencers from Mark Cuban to Lindsay Lohan are joining the NFT craze. Check out what they’ve auctioned.

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Elon Musk and Grimes attend the Met Gala in 2018.

  • Celebrities from Lindsay Lohan to the NFL’s Rob Gronkowski are jumping in on the NFT craze.
  • More celebrities and influencers are expected to join the space as it grows in popularity.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk planned to sell an NFT but later decided against it.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As the craze for crypto art continues, celebrities, billionaires, and influencers are getting in on the trend and selling some of their own.

NFL player Rob Gronkowski, rapper Ja Rule, Lindsay Lohan, and Mark Cuban, among others, have jumped on board. And Alex Atallah, the cofounder of NFT marketplace OpenSea, told Insider he expects to see even more celebrities joining the space.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have allowed artists to sell their digital work for thousands and even millions of dollars. They’re gaining popularity as NFTs – which are generally digital assets that operate as a type of collector’s item and can’t be duplicated – are now a more than $1 billion market.

As for CEOs, Twitter chief Jack Dorsey sold his very first tweet from 2006 for millions and donated the proceeds to charity. And just this week Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has been a big promoter of cryptocurrencies, said he would sell a techno song as an NFT. But he later reneged, saying it didn’t feel right. His girlfriend, Grimes, has made millions selling crypto art.

Billionaire and “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban sold an NFT of a motivational quote, that read, “Nobody ever changed the world by doing what everyone else was doing – Mark Cuban.”

Read more: Influencers are rushing to make money on NFTs using virtual avatars, digital collectibles, and one-off art

As for the music industry, Shawn Mendes teamed up with Genies, which makes 2D avatars, to make virtual versions of his guitar and gold ring and sell them as NFTs, Rolling Stone reported.

Hoping to get rid of bad vibes from his Fyre Festival days, rapper Ja Rule auctioned an oil painting that once hung in Fyre Media’s office as an NFT on a new platform Flipkick, and he offered to sign it for the purchaser.

Flipkick Fyre Fest painting
Flipkick is selling this Fyre Festival painting as an NFT

Other musicians have joined the trend, as well. The Kings of Leon was the first band to sell an entirely new album, titled “When You See Yourself,” as an NFT, Rolling Stone Reported. And in a tweet, DJ Steve Aoki announced his first-ever NFT collection.

In the sports world, Tampa Bay Buccaneer Rob Gronkowski, aka the Gronk, announced on Twitter he’d be launching an NFT collection of his very own. Four pieces of art commemorate his championship wins and one is a career highlight of him, according to his website. Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes sold millions of dollars worth of NFTs in just minutes, actionnetwork reported.

As for influencers, Paris Hilton sold a cat painting for $17,000, Decrypt reported. And Lyndsay Lohan sold her “Lightning” NFT for $50,000 and promised to donate the funds to charities that accept cryptocurrency, according to Decrypt.

With a lot of money to be made in NFTs, internet influencers are likely to continue joining the space. So far, YouTube stars like Logan Paul and Zach “ZHC” Hsiehn have already begun experimenting with the trend.

Do you know of more celebrities and influencers who are selling or planning to sell an NFT? Email the reporter of this story at ndailey@insider.com.

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Takung Art soars 712% in 4 days as digital-art trading booms following landmark NFT auction

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  • Shares of Takung Art have soared 712% in the past four days, before paring some gains.
  • On Wednesday alone shares rose 277% as the buzz around non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, continues to grow.
  • Takung Art turned in revenues of just $685,465 for the three months that ended in Sept. 2020.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Shares of the Hong Kong-based digital-art trading platform Takung Art have soared as much as 712% in the past four days from Friday’s closing price of $4.09 per share after a landmark non-fungible token (NFT) auction brought attention to the sector.

Takung Art’s stock climbed 277% on Wednesday alone.

Shares of the Hong Kong-based firm started their historic run after the digital artist Beeple sold a digital painting titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” for nearly $70 million in a Christie’s auction last week.

The sale brought a wave of new attention to the world of NFTs, where investors can trade digital certificates of ownership of everything from fine art to trading cars. Sotheby’s auction house is now also getting in on the NFT action following Christie’s watershed Beeple auction.

Takung Art is a holding company that was formerly known as Cardigant Medical. These days it operates an on-line listing and trading service that allows artists, art dealers, and art owners to trade their holdings in an open market with investors.

The company is focused on the Chinese market and operates through it’s main website TakungOnline.com. As one of the only public companies with exposure to the NFT space, Takung has attracted a lot of investor attention.

Still, according to the company’s recent SEC filings, Takung turned in revenues of just $685,465 for the three months that ended on September 30, 2020.

The company did manage to turn a small profit, but that was only due to other income which came from “rising from the appreciation of the Renminbi against the US dollar.”

The lack of consistent revenue or earnings hasn’t stopped investors from trying to take advantage of the NFT boom through Takung, however. Shares of the digital art platform continue to rise.

The stock traded up 41.22% as of 9:46 a.m ET on Thursday.

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Elon Musk turns down $1 million offer for an NFT of his tweet, saying it ‘doesn’t feel quite right’

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Elon Musk has been a key driver of the craze for all things crypto

  • Elon Musk said he would not sell his tweet as an NFT in the end, despite offering it up on Monday.
  • The Tesla boss said it “didn’t feel quite right” to sell the tweet of a song about NFTs.
  • Musk – who changed his title to “Technoking of Tesla” on Monday – has been a key driver of cryptomania.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Tesla “Technoking” Elon Musk has turned down a $1.1 million offer to buy one of his tweets as a non-fungible token after putting it up for sale, saying it “doesn’t feel quite right.”

Musk – who has been a key driver of the mania for all things crypto – said on Monday that he was selling a tweet of a song about NFTs as an NFT, days after a token sold for a record $69 million.

Yet the Tesla boss and multi-billionaire had a change of heart on Tuesday night, tweeting: “Actually, doesn’t feel quite right selling this. Will pass.”

Musk’s tweet is listed on the blockchain-backed auction platform Valuables and had attracted a bid of $1.12 million from a user called @sinaEstavi.

The tweet is of a techno song about NFTs, with the lyrics: “NFT, for your vanity, computers never sleep, it’s verified, it’s guaranteed.”

The video features a gold trophy emblazoned with the words “Vanity Trophy”, “NFT” and “HODL”, a reference to holding assets instead of selling them.

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are a special class of digital assets that cannot be exchanged with one another for equal value, or broken down into smaller bits. They often operate as a type of collectors item and cannot be duplicated.

They are the hottest new thing in the crypto world, and grabbed global attention last week when digital artist Beeple sold an NFT for $69 million, making him one of the three most expensive living artists.

It was only a matter of time before they grabbed Musk’s attention too, given that he has been a major force behind the recent bitcoin rally and has long championed meme cryptocurrency dogecoin.

Musk officially changed his job title to “Technoking of Tesla” on Monday in his latest irreverent move. Tesla chief financial officer Zach Kirkhorn has also been given the title of “Master of Coin”, a change that could reference Tesla’s purchase of $1.5 billion in bitcoin.

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We talked with Beeple about how NFT mania led to his $69 million art sale

  • A piece of digital artwork by Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, sold for nearly $70 million last week.
  • Digital art backed by non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are exploding in popularity and value, and Beeple is riding the wave.
  • In an exclusive interview, Beeple told Insider about his unexpected fortune and the future of NFTs.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, has sold the most expensive work of digital art in history.

It’s part of an explosion in the market for NFTs, or non-fungible tokens – digital tokens that prove ownership of things like Beeple’s image that you can’t even touch.

“I honestly, like, I never thought I could sell my work,” Beeple said in an interview at his home in South Carolina. “Kind of late September, early October, people kept hitting me on being like, ‘Oh, you got to look at this NFT thing.'”

Two months later, in December, he netted $3.5 million selling art backed by NFTs.

In March, Christie’s, a 225-year-old auction house that previously only sold physical art, auctioned an entirely digital piece by Beeple. It sold for $69,346,250.

“If everybody wants it, well, then it has value,” Beeple said.

The speculation in this market is so wild that when a $95,000 Banksy piece was recently burned and turned into an NFT, the NFT was sold for nearly $400,000. A cat meme recently sold for $600,000. To understand who’s paying these prices, it’s important to understand NFTs.

“I really look at NFTs as like a blank slate,” he said. “And so it’s sort of like saying, do you think a webpage is valuable? Well, I don’t know. It could be, or it could be totally worthless.”

NFT stands for non-fungible token, essentially a digital signature backed by blockchain technology that proves ownership of something.

Unlike Bitcoin, which are all identical by design, NFTs are unique. To some degree, what NFTs offer for sale is the idea of scarcity. It’s possible to buy a token that represents art in the physical world, but NFTs also back digital assets like an image or a tweet.

“So May 1, 2007, I started doing a sketch a day, every single day, start to finish, and uploading it online,” Winkelmann said. “And after a year of that, I learned a lot about drawing. Like, I got much better at drawing. I was still very, very bad, as you can see from the Christie’s piece. But I learned a lot.”

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Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple.

Beeple’s popularity caught the attention of Christie’s in December. They decided on a collage of his first 5,000 days of work that forms a square of 21,069 x 21,069 pixels. To help make his digital art more accessible, back in December, Beeple provided a physical product along with the NFT for his digital art. But for Christie’s, being completely digital is what made Beeple’s work unique – and all the more valuable.

“It’s really a radical gesture to offer for sale something without any object, and we might as well lean into that,” said Noah Davis, specialist in Post-War & Contemporary Art at Christie’s.

In the media, Beeple has been compared to artists like Banksy and Warhol, though his paid work has been as a graphic designer, with clients like Louis Vuitton, Nike and Apple.

“So I don’t really like the term artist because it sounds very pretentious and douche-y,” Beeple said.

“There’s an interesting parallel between Mike and Andy Warhol in the way that their careers developed,” Davis said. “Andy also started as an illustrator working in, basically, a gig economy.”

Critics have compared him with artists like Warhol, Banksy, and the Italian artist who taped a banana to the wall of a Paris art gallery.

“I’ve been thinking about the banana a lot, talking a lot about the banana,” Davis said. “It’s the dumbest idea, and you are basically celebrating a lack of creativity, like the bare minimum of creativity, but with Mike, it’s a ritual assignment of value that is celebrating 13 years of hard work of him doing this for no financial gain.”

For Beeple, the pace of change has been mind blowing. Back in the olden days of 2020, Beeple’s NFT-backed “Crossroads” sold for $66,666.

“At the time it was like, oh my God, I sold a piece for 66,000,” Beeple said. “It was just, like, insane.”

In December, he sold $3.5 million worth of art in one day. Then, on February 26, Crossroads was resold on a secondary NFT market for $6.6 million, of which Beeple got a 10% cut.

Then in March, Christie’s sold the 5,000 image montage by Beeple for $69.3 million.

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Successful NFT artists weigh in on if traditional artists should pivot to the digital space

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“Computer Hell” by Mark Sabb for Felt Zine.

  • Artists like Mike Winkelmann of Beeple have made millions of dollars off of their NFT artwork.
  • NFTs give artists more autonomy, but the space is becoming more competitive.
  • We asked NFT artists if it would be strategic for “traditional” artists to pivot to the digital space.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

NFT artists are now making millions of dollars from their work. But if you’re a traditional artist looking to enter the growing space, pivoting solely to NFT art may be more difficult than it seems.

As an artist, there are several benefits to pursuing NFT art. For one, it mimics the global shift towards remote work during COVID-19.

Unlike the 1980s when artists used to cluster in major cities like New York, NFT art has made it possible for artists around the world to achieve financial success, Sergio Scalet of Hackatao, an Italy-based NFT pop art duo, told Insider.

Read more: The $64 billion art market is embracing blockchain and cryptocurrencies to sell paintings worth millions of dollars by the likes of Picasso

Overall, NFTs have given artists more autonomy, allowing them to both produce whatever art they’d like, and select where the art will be sold. To the latter point, selling NFTs inherently presents a financial advantage that can’t be found in the “traditional” art world: artists can receive royalties when their work has been resold.

Right now, the standard is a 10% royalty, Mike Winkelmann, also known as “Beeple,” told Insider.

“I think that’s definitely a huge selling point,” Winkelmann said. “If this stuff takes off, you will be compensated well.”

Just how “well” is well? In October, a Miami art collector shelled out almost $67,000 a 10-second video art clip created by Winkelmann, Reuters reported. In February, the same video resold for $6.6 million, of which Winkelmann received a 10% cut.

"On-Chain" by Mike Winkelmann of Beeple.
“On-Chain” by Mike Winkelmann of Beeple.

However, while NFTs present artists with the chance of financial success, flourishing in the space may still be “tough,” Winkelmann says.

“There’s a reason ‘starving artists’ is an accurate term in a lot of ways,” Winkelmann said. “I think it’s going to be hyper-competitive because at the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to just make whatever the hell they want and have people pay them for it.”

As a result, Mark Sabb, founder of artist collective Felt Zine, doesn’t recommend pivoting to NFT art while abandoning other streams of income.

“Do everything,” Sabb said, whether it be commissions, shows, or selling prints. In the end, a diversification of income will help raise the value of an artist’s NFTs. And in turn, this can give artists the power to turn down “bad clients.”

“If you have the time to do it, I say do it,” Sabb said. “NFTs have given [several people I know] the ability to become artists full-time. Now, digital artists are empowered to actually negotiate more because we have more options to make money.”

However, the success an artist could achieve in the NFT world may depend on prior connections to the community. For example, figures who are tapped into “digital art, underground cultures, and crypto” – like Grimes – may prosper in the space, according to Sabb. But if you’re a artist with no ties to crypto or digital art, you may be out of luck.

“This is a space where equity is important, and underground cultures or people who are on the fringes are actually being embraced,” Sabb said. “That’s part of the crypto ethos.”

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The runner up for the $69 million art NFT is the same crypto whiz kid who once paid $4.6 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett

Justin Sun Warren Buffett
  • Crypto whiz kid Justin Sun was the runner up in the $69 million NFT auction.
  • He tried to enter a $70 million bid but his offer wasn’t received by Christie’s.
  • Sun rose to fame after paying $4.6 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Crypto whiz kid Justin Sun was the runner up in the record-breaking Christie’s auction for a $69 million piece of digital art on Thursday.

Sun – who once paid $4.6 million for a charity dinner with Warren Buffett – bid $60 million for the digital work, called “Everydays: The First 5000 Days.” Including the buyer’s premium, he would have paid $69 million for the piece.

However, he was outbid by a mystery buyer offering $250,000 more with 20 seconds to go, he said in a Twitter thread. He tried to raise his bid to $70 million but the offer wasn’t accepted by Christie’s system, he added. He shared an email, ostensibly from a Christie’s representative, that confirmed his higher bid wasn’t received in time.

Sun called for Christie’s to use blockchain technology to make the auction process more transparent and avoid similar problems in the future. He tweeted, ” If you need my assistance in incorporating blockchain technology to your system, let me know! Happy to help :)”

“Everydays: The First 5000 Days” was created by the digital artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple.

The work is a mosaic of the 5,000 daily pieces of digital art that Winkelmann has produced since he began the project in 2007. It’s connected to a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) which acts a digital certificate of authenticity that runs on the blockchain.

Sun, the boss of two cryptocurrency companies, Tron and Rainberry (formerly known as BitTorrent), first garnered attention from the media after he paid $4.6 million to have lunch with Warren Buffet and then postponed the meetup for more than six months.

Sun also drew the media’s gaze after he pledged $1 million to support Greta Thunberg’s campaign against climate change and said he would give away $1.2 million to 100 people during 2020.

The 30-year-old crypto boss also invested $10 million in GameStop near the peak of the Reddit-fueled rally.

Now, Sun is in the spotlight again as the unlucky runner up for the largest Non-Fungible Token purchase in history. Only two works of physical art surpassed the piece’s sticker price in 2020.

Wu Bin’s “Ten Views of a Lingbi Rock” sold for $76.6 million and Francis Bacon’s “Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus” sold for $84.6 million, according to ArtNet.

The NFT sale was also larger than any sale at Christie’s auction house in all of last year. The closest contender to the NFT was Roy Lichtenstein’s “Nude With Joyous Painting” that sold for $46.2 million.

The sale of “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” is the latest in an explosion in the market for NFTs. In fact, according to a study from NonFungible.com, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, the NFT market grew 299% year-over-year in 2020 to more than $250 million.

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