- 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.”