In brief

  • An NFT by Beeple has sold at auction for a record-breaking sum.
  • It's the first purely digital artwork to go on sale at auction house Christie's.

Crypto artist Beeple, real name Mike Winkelmann, has sold an NFT for $69.3 million at Christie's auction house, breaking records in the digital art world.

While the winning final bid was $60.3 million, the "realized price," which includes fees, totals $69.3 million, according to Christie's.

Beeple’s EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS takes the form of a non-fungible token (NFT)—a unique digital asset that provides verifiable ownership of digital items, such as art or in-game items. They are typically held on the Ethereum blockchain, although other blockchains such as Flow also support NFTs.

The artwork itself is described as an accumulative piece highlighting the artist’s journey creating art over the past 13 years. It features the image below, which is an amalgamation of thousands of images.

Beeple art on sale
The collection is called EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS. Image: Beeple.

Beeple is the most famous crypto artist, with over $28 million of sales under his name to date, according to Crypto Art.

There were 353 bids in total for this artwork, with bidding reaching $1 million in the first hour. It's the 3rd most expensive artwork sold by a living artist (No. 4 when adjusted for inflation).

After the auction, Christie’s is hosting a closing party with Beeple.

Lady PheOnix, principal at crypto consultancy firm Universe Contemporary, Jehan Chu, co-founder of crypto-focused Social Alpha Foundation, and Dannie Chu, co-founder of crypto art platform Makers Place, will be in attendance.

Although this is the first purely digital artwork that Christie's has sold, it's not the first NFT to go under the hammer at the auction house. Last October, Christie's auctioned off a “portrait” of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, made up of large circular canvases inscribed with Bitcoin data. While the artwork itself was physical, it was accompanied by an NFT, with the pair eventually selling for over $130,000.