Source | Artsy
The art market’s fascination with non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, has reached a fever pitch over the past two weeks
On February 25th, Christie’s launched an online auction of an NFT-based digital artwork by the artist Beeple (real name Mike Winkelmann), with no estimate and an opening price of $100. The work, Everydays: The First 5000 Days (2021), ultimately sold for an astounding $69.3 million, setting an all-time record for a digital artwork and making Beeple the third-most expensive living artist at auction (behind Jeff Koons and David Hockney). In that time, another digital artwork by Beeple, Crossroad (2020), sold for $6.6 million on the NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway. The seller, Miami-based collector and co-founder of the Gallery of Crypto Art Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile, had spent nearly $67,000 to buy the work in October 2020. Its value increased more than 100-fold in that four-month span.As Rodriguez-Fraile sees it, the current craze for NFTs (or, colloquially, “nifties”) is the result of several factors, including unprecedented interest in digital assets as millions of people around the world have spent much of the past year confined and on their computers because of COVID-19. Another set of factors has to do with the performances of financial markets over that same period, from the buoyant stock market to the value of leading cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ether soaring to record highs.