Sotheby’s, one of the world’s leading auction houses for works of art and collectibles, has witnessed a historic milestone, for art and for technologies: an NFT (non-fungible token) of a pixel has been acquired for $1.36M. That amount was achieved after just 90 minutes of bidding, which was led by Eric Young.
Specifically, this is a work created by the artist Pak and is part of the so-called The Fungible Collection which in total raised $16.8M. This entire collection was created by the artist himself. The work called The Pixel (clearly) was defined at the auction as “a small statement piece of art”.
“The Pixel is a digitally native artwork visually represented by a single pixel (1×1). It is a token that signs the most basic unit of a digital image in a traditional global auction house. It is a tiny mark to carry digitally native art to a potential future history.” That’s how poetically Sotheby’s has spoken of that simple pixel costing millions.
The Fungible Collection, which was held between April 12 and 14, has been defined by its promoters as “a novel collection of digital art redefining our understanding of value.”
NFTs in 2021
An NFT or non-fungible token is a form of a blockchain-based digital asset. Its popularity has exploded in 2021. If we look at the prices collectors are paying to get their hands on these items that only exist in digital form. A digital artist called Pak himself sold an NFT of a red pixel for $7,154 a few weeks ago and now he has just sold a gray pixel for $1.36M.
If we go back a few years, we find that in 2005 Alex Tew created The Million Dollar Homepage, a website where anyone who wanted to get their hands on a pixel had to pay one dollar.
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) have come to be defined as the digital version of stamps, art, or any other tangible or intangible product to which a number of users end up conferring a value.
Other great signs that 2021 is the year of the NFT
In addition to the million-dollar amounts that Pak has raised with its digital art this week, it is worth remembering other major milestones in recent months in terms of the rise of non-fungible tokens.
For one, in March, London-based auction house Christie’s held its first digital art auction and the experience resulted in the $69 million sales of crypto-artist Beeple‘s NFT. At the time, his work became the most expensive digital artwork in history and also placed its author among the three most successful living artists.
Another important event was starred by Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter also in March. On the first weekend of the month, he asked his followers, “Do you want to buy this tweet?” and offered for sale his first message published through Twitter in 2006 (where he said “Just setting up my twttr”), in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT).
This led to a million-dollar auction through the Valuables website, launched three months earlier to sell tweets using these NFT mechanisms. The buyer paid $2.9M for those five words in a tweet.