As high-profile NFT sales gain unprecedented mainstream visibility, the crypto space seems to be primed for an influx of newcomers. Just two days into March, and it’s clear this is going to be another record-setting month with major NFT auctions already making waves.
The first is Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” NFT which is up for auction on Christie’s until March 11, and is currently bidding for $3M with ten days to go. Speculators anticipate the auction to beat last week’s $6.6M re-sale for Beeple’s “Crossroads,” a then record which has since been surpassed by 3lau’s $11.6M sale.
This auction is an especially important benchmark for NFTs, as it marks the first time that a major, mainstream auction house like Christie’s has listed a purely digital work of art.
Beeple’s “Everydays” is the culmination of a multi-year effort to produce a new piece of art every day that the artist started long before he became the Leonardo Da Vinci of NFTs. Beeple has been a major innovator in the NFT space (“Crossroads,” for instance, was the first NFT designed to “change” post-purchase based on the results of the 2020 election), so an artwork representing 5,000 days of Beeple’s journey as an artist is a perfect first NFT entry for the mainstream art world.
The second major auction right now is Grimes’ WarNymph Collection Vol. 1, which includes 8 pieces of original artwork of varying rarities attached to exclusive, unreleased soundtracks. The collection dropped on Nifty Gateway at the end of February with a 48-hour bidding period for a 1/1 piece titled “Death of the Old.” Overall, Grimes’ NFT sales totaled over $5M, with “Death of the Old” bidding up to $388k alone.
But at least as interesting as Grimes’ drop in and of itself is the mainstream coverage from outlets like Rolling Stone, which notes that other major celebrity musicians including Portugal the Man and Sean Mendes have also gotten into crypto and NFTs recently. Grimes, whose partner is Elon Musk, is an award-winning musician and visual artist.
Mainstream coverage of celebrities participating in DeFi, NFTs, and crypto has the potential to normalize the space for an entirely new audience. Similarly, NFTs featuring on major auction places like Christie’s give the market a level of cultural clout that has traditionally been reserved exclusively for physical art.
To be sure, NFTs are still not mainstream yet, and any mention of the oftentimes mind-blowing sale prices for NFTs in news sources is sure to be met with some level of backlash and skepticism from people who can’t wrap their minds around digital collectibles holding real value.
Still, the NFT market has been making major strides and constantly breaking its own sale records throughout 2021, so for anyone who can wrap their brain around spending millions of dollars on a few pixels, we suggest buckling up.
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