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Whether we recognize it or not, we’ve entered a digital universe. Food can be ordered and paid for through apps, and we can do our shopping completely online without ever leaving our couches. What’s more, things like non-fungible tokens–better known as NFTs–are becoming one of the most unique dimensions of this marketplace.
Unique art galleries and pieces are sold as digital media files, bringing a new perspective into the longstanding art scene. Understanding this transition, Sotheby’s has announced its own NFT marketplace.
Appropriately titled Sotheby’s Metaverse, the marketplace gets its first release on Oct. 18. With the arrival, Sotheby’s becomes the first auction house to have its own NFT marketplace, giving both artists and collectors the opportunity to swap prices and find new blockchains.
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“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,” Sebastian Fahey, the new executive lead of the platform, is quoted in a press release. “For me, this latest market innovation is one of the most fundamental and exciting yet, and we are in a unique position at Sotheby’s to apply our expertise and curation to the burgeoning world of art for the digitally native generation.”
The site will host collections taht feature some of the most prolific NFT artists in the realm, including cross-medium entertainers Steve Aoki and Paris Hilton. Some of the lots in the launch collection include images from Time magazine, works by Joey the Photographer, and three “Rare Pepe” collections.
To make a purchase, collectors can make an account and choose an avatar created by famed digital artist Pak, then place bids or make purchases using US Dollars, Bitcoin, Etherum or other digital cryptocurrencies. Fans can stay in the loop by following collection releases on Twitter or by joining the Sotheby’s Metaverse Discord server.
The marketplace isn’t Sotheby’s first venture in digital waters. The auction house has hosted a handful of NFT auctions this year. Its first collection titled the “Fungible Collection” was released in April in collaboration with Pak. It brought more than 3,000 new buyers and $17 million in sales to the site.
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“From the moment we first conceptualized our debut NFT sale, we recognized that Sotheby’s was in a unique position to bridge the burgeoning NFT ecosystem with the traditional art world,” Max Moore, Sotheby’s co-head of Digital Art Sales in Hong Kong, is quoted. “Since then, we have spent months exploring every aspect of the digital art landscape, aligning with some of the most influential minds of the NFT movement to architect a custom marketplace that prioritizes curation and customization. It is exciting to be able to introduce Sotheby’s Metaverse to the world and continue to build upon this shared vision for the future of all digital art.”
Sotheby’s teased further work with NFT collectors and creators with plans to tap into other realms, such as music and entertainment, science and technology, sports and more. Learn more about Sotheby’s Metaverse via Sothebys.com.