The Buyer of Christie’s $69 Million Beeple NFT Was Ready To Bid Higher


The buyer of the $69.34 million NFT — the first one sold by auction house Christie’s earlier this month — told CNBC he was prepared to bid even higher.

Vignesh Sundaresan, also known as MetaKovan, told CNBC, “I had the opportunity to be part of this very important shift in how art has been perceived for centuries.”

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Christie’s sale of the digital NFT-based artwork — a JPG by the digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple — positioned the artist as one the top three most valuable living artists.

“‘First 5000 Days,’ the first purely digital NFT-based artwork offered by a major auction house, has sold for $69,346,250, positioning him among the top three most valuable living artists. Major Thanks to @beeple + @makersplaceco,” Christie’s tweeted on March 12, after the sale.

Sundaresan told CNBC’ he had no regrets paying $69 million for what many consider simply a JPEG and a hyperlink.

“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 OK with that. I had the opportunity to be part of this very important shift in how art has been perceived for centuries.”

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Non-fungible tokens are digital assets that represent a wide range of unique tangible and intangible items, from collectible sports cards to virtual real estate and even digital sneakers, Coindesk explains. They are recorded on a blockchain, a distributed ledger that is immutable, verifiable and decentralized.

Minted exclusively for Christie’s, Beeple’s digital collage was offered as a single lot sale concurrently with First Open, and realized $69,346,250, the auction house said in a statement. This marks two industry firsts: Christie’s is the first major auction house to offer a purely digital work with a unique NFT  — effectively a guarantee of its authenticity — and to accept cryptocurrency, in this case Ether, in addition to standard forms of payment for the singular lot, it added in the statement.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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