Amir Soleymani Sues Nifty Gateway For Beeple NFT’s
Amir Soleymani, aka Mondoir, has filed a lawsuit in the United Kingdom against Nifty Gateway, the digital art and collectibles marketplace behind the sale of the second and third most expensive NFTs ever sold. The issue arose over an auction for an original Beeple piece called Abundance, which sold for $1.2 million on Nifty Gateway.
The ‘winners’ were given numbered editions of the Beeple Abundance artwork that corresponded to their individual bid positions at Nifty Gateway’s auction. Despite the fact that Soleymani’s primary purpose was to purchase the one-of-a-kind, first-edition artwork, bidders were forced to pay for the ranked editions. As a result, he has sued Nifty Gateway, alleging that the Beeple auction was illegal.
The Abundance auction took place between April 30 and May 2, 2021, attracting interest from ‘Whales,’ or entities with a large number of premium NFTs or coins, such as Justin Sun, the founder of Tron, and Taylor Gerring, the co-founder of Ethereum. Beeple founded Abundance after selling an NFT at Christie’s in March for $69 million, making it the most expensive NFT ever.
Soleymani ‘won’ an edition of the Beeple piece after the Abundance auction concluded and he was the third highest bidder, according to Nifty Gateway. He was asked to pay but refused. Nifty Gateway then proceeded to freeze his NFT collection on their site, which included hundreds of thousands of dollars in NFTs that he had acquired previously, and the collection is still frozen.
Non-first edition NFTs are usually regarded to be worth substantially less than first editions, and a third edition NFT, regardless of provenance, is unlikely to elicit a price anywhere close to Mr Soleymani’s bid for the first edition if auctioned as an individual lot.
NFTs have quickly gained traction as virtual securitisations for art and collectibles, with digital masterpieces fetching astronomical sums. Over $303.8 million in NFTs were sold on Nifty Gateway between May 2020 and April 2021. Nifty Gateway has been purchased by Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian created by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.