Founded in London in 1766, art auction house Christie’s is a symbol of yesteryear—and yet the company appears to be on the cutting edge. In March, Christie’s sold a collage by the digital artist Mike Winklemann, better known as Beeple, for 42,329 Ether, at the time the cryptocurrency equivalent of $69.3 million.
The artwork was sold as a nonfungible token (NFT), a sort of certificate of authenticity minted on the ethereum blockchain.
The sale was part of a larger boom market for NFTs that peaked in February and March, which has somewhat subsided since. But Christie’s remains long on NFTs. The auction house has this year sold a series of Andy Warhol NFTs for a combined $3.3 million, a digital version of Banksy’s street art for $100,000, and a collection from the 18-year-old digital artist FEWOCiOUS for a combined $2.2 million. In short, Christie’s is embracing an emerging market, as is its counterpart Sotheby’s. So Quartz caught up with Noah Davis, Christie’s NFT lead to see where things are headed.
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