More NFTs go under hammer at Sotheby’s after $11.8mn “alien with mask” digital art [details]

Facts about cryptocurrencies

On Thursday, June 10, NFT of a digital artwork called a ‘CryptoPunk’ sold for $11.8 million during Sotheby’s online auction – Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale. It was purchased by Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of digital sports company DraftKings and the online event on a whole fetched the renowned art and luxury space, a total of $17.1 million across works by 27 digital artists.

Today, team DraftKings was spotted at Nasdaq opening to ring the bell in their CryptoPunk t-shirts that flaunted the now-famous $11.8 million worth digital artwork of an alien wearing a mask.

As reported by Reuters, “Although the sale was on an online auction, the works were displayed on screens in Sotheby’s exhibitions in New York, London and Hong Kong. The art-house also opened its first-ever virtual gallery: a replica of its real-world building on New Bond Street in London, in the online virtual world Decentraland.”

The famous crypto artwork auctioned at Sotheby recently

The famous crypto artwork auctioned at Sotheby recentlySocial media

CryptoPunks are a set of 10,000 pixel-art characters made by Larva Labs in 2017. The one sold by Sotheby’s here is an alien with blue-green skin, wearing a medical mask.

The work is in the form of an NFT, meaning it is authenticated by blockchain, which certifies its originality and ownership. The NFT is sent to the buyer’s cryptocurrency wallet; no physical artwork changes hands, said the Reuters report further.

What is NFT?

Acronym for non-fungible token, NFT is basically data that is stored or accounted for in a digital ledger, and that data represents something specific. An NFT can, for example, represent a piece of art, a music album or other types of digital files, explains a Forbes report. And when one buys an NFT, one is essentially paying up for a digital recording of ownership of a token, which can then be transferred to a digital wallet.

In the inexplicable new-age digital world of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins, NFT seems like another new addition, only it isn’t.

“The history of non-fungibles is much longer than most people realize. The first attempts at NFTs were in the 2012–2013 Colored Coin era,” explains Andrew Steinwold on Medium.

The announcement by Sotheby’s on its Twitter handle led to an online face-off of sorts where art appreciators began to question the skills required in creating a pixelated digital art piece.  Although the Cryptopunk community of digital artists is small but growing, the current record-high auction has lifted the spirits of many who struggle to find buyers for their NFTs. 

Claire Silver whose CryptoPunk artwork was outside the Museum of Modern Art in New York last month wrote, “So excited to see this art movement getting the recognition it deserves. Well done!”


Let's stay in touch

Sign up to stay up-to-date on new Artoken features, product launches, and our upcoming events.

Order Form

To place an order for Artoken Tags, please fill out the form below: