In what could prove to be a historic moment for the NFT world, Sotheby’s has opened an NFT marketplace. The 277-year-old, world-renowned art auction house has launched an Ethereum based NFT marketplace. A massive moment for NFTs that adds an incredible amount of legitimacy to this expanding art genre. The digital universe is growing at a rapid pace. Furthermore, with this renowned household name entering the market, this could be a spark to ignite it further.
Sotheby’s carries the hallmark of excellence and exclusivity. Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the oldest and most prestigious international auction house. Recognised globally as the premium name in art sales alongside Christie’s and Phillips, these three art houses are the holy trinity of art auctioneers. Because of this, Sotheby’s will offer top quality NFTs, selected by art specialists with years of experience.
Why is Sotheby’s creating an NFT marketplace?
Speaking to Decrypt, Michael Bouhann, Sotheby’s co-head of digital art sales, stated, “With Sotheby’s Metaverse, we will create a new industry ecosystem that serves as a destination for the most sophisticated digital art sales and auctions, positioning Sotheby’s at the center of some of the most important NFT industry activity”. A brave move by Sotheby’s, who see NFTs as the future of art.
Mojito will power the marketplace. Mojito is a web3 platform that uses cutting edge technology and focuses on compliance. Sotheby’s Metaverse looks promising. This marketplace will be at the forefront of premium NFT sales.
Significantly, customers will be able to use fiat currency such as GBP and USD to purchase NFTs. Of course, customers will also purchase NFTs using cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC) and others.
Natively Digital 1:2 The Collectors.
Sotheby’s will begin its new venture with Natively Digital 1.2: The Collectors. This 53 piece collection of digital art will feature “culturally significant art from the vaults of 19 collectors”, according to Sotheby’s. Collectors such as CatDad, Loopify, Paris Hilton and J1mmy.eth are involved in the project, and in the long run, this could be a pivotal moment for NFTs.
Sotheby’s is taking a chance here, positioning itself as the go-to marketplace. Sebastian Fahey, the new executive lead of the platform, stated in a press release, “In my 17 years at Sotheby’s, I have seen many changes and developments: new artists, genres and media taking the market by storm, tastes and collecting habits transforming–sometimes over time, sometimes almost overnight”. There is a real passion and belief behind the scenes here, and it will be fascinating to see how this develops over time.
Will others follow suit?
This is not the first time that Sotheby’s has sold NFTs. Sotheby’s have partnered with several crypto artists and collectors this year. A collection of art titled ‘Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale’ was released in June. The collection features crypto artist Rober Alice. This was unquestionably a huge success and raised over and $17 million in sales. Christie’s has also sold numerous NFTs, including Beeple’s groundbreaking Everyday: The First 5,000 Days. This collection sold for $69 million in March 2021.
Christie’s will not want to be left out. It would be no surprise to find out they have already discussed competing with Sotheby’s Metaverse. Finally, this is a huge moment for the NFT space, and only time will tell how important it proves to be.