Sotheby’s auction house is auctioning off the first NFT ever made. Artist Kevin McCoy’s “Quantum” was minted in May 2014, predating the term “NFT”. It is an octagonal animation that predated much of what we think of as crypto art by several years.
The piece is part of Sotheby’s “Natively Digital” collection, which features a rare Cryptopunk among other classic works. The lot for “Quantum” closes on June 10, with a bid of $160,000 USD as of writing.
Sotheby’s selling key parts of NFT history
The sale of “Quantum” is a coup for the Sotheby’s collection. It comes from the earliest days of the crypto era, when even the idea of minting artwork was an alien concept. McCoy, a multimedia artist and crypto enthusiast, took that first step, and with it, defined an entire era of art.
The work was part of the Namecoin blockchain — block 174923 to be exact. Although over seven years old, it has a lot in common with modern NFTs. The abstract nature, the rhythmic animation, and the vibrant colours persist in the medium even today. It is a sign of things to come, without feeling like an antique.
The first NFT of many to come
Sotheby’s collection is covering the first wave of NFTs, from 2014 to the present. But what’s more exciting is that in the days since they announced the auction, huge new parts of NFT history have been minted. From Bored Apes to Etherpoems to literally thousands of other standalone works, crypto art is constantly evolving.
“Natively Digital” is a snapshot of blockchains as they stood in early 2021. By this time next year, there will be a whole new set of legends to put on display. And that is what makes NFTs so incredible.