Beeple sold an NFT for $69 million

Beeple sold an NFT for $69 million

Through a first-of-its-kind auction(ˈôkSH(ə)n) at Christie’s(ˈkristē)

By Jacob Kastrenakes

Until October, the most Mike(mīk) Winkelmann — the digital artist known as Beeple — had ever sold a print for was $100.

Today, an NFT of his work sold for $69 million at Christie’s. The sale positions him “among the top three most valuable living artists,” according to the auction house.

The record-smashing(smaSH) NFT sale comes after months of increasingly valuable auctions. In October, Winkelmann sold his first series(ˈsirēz) of NFTs, with a pair going for $66,666.66 each. In December, he sold a series of works for $3.5 million total. And last month, one of the NFTs that originally sold for $66,666.66 was resold for $6.6 million.

NFTs, or non-fungible(ˈfənjəbəl) tokens, are unique files that live on a blockchain and are able to verify ownership of a work of digital art. Buyers typically get limited rights to display the digital artwork they represent(ˌreprəˈzent), but in many ways, they’re just buying bragging(ˈbraɡiNG) rights and an asset(ˈaset) they may be able to resell later. The technology has absolutely exploded(ikˈsplōdəd) over the past few weeks — and Winkelmann, more than anyone else, has been at the forefront(ˈfôrˌfrənt) of its rapid(ˈrapəd) rise(rīz).