Yesterday was an exciting day in the NFT, or at least it started out that way - but what started with a bang, ended with a whimper. For the first time in my life I watched a Christie's art auction. It had a very sterile feeling to it and pieces like the one below went for over $80M:
What confuses me about the world in general is how people look at something like this and think $80M+ makes sense, but they look at something like Beeple's art, in digital form, and scoff at a $69M sale price.
At any rate, for those of you who watched the auction, you, like me, probably found yourself sitting through a really boring art auction. For pieces like the one above, the auction went on for 10+ minutes as bids came in from around the world and Christie's sales staff cajoled buyers to increase their bids.
Then, after what felt like a small eternity, the punks finally hit the auction block.
I was pretty shocked as it started, no real background on CryptoPunks and the phones, well they didn't seem to be ringing off the hook. Instead it looked like just a few salespeople were on the phone, and it clearly wasn't going well. There wasn't a flurry of bids or anything close to the level of excitement a lot of the traditional art saw. In the end, CryptoPunks sold for $14.5M:
With predictions from within the NFT world ranging anywhere from $30M to $50M to $100M, it felt like something had gone wrong. Where were the bidders? Why were most of the salespeople twiddling their thumbs during the auction?
NFT legend Gmoney wrote the following after the auction ended:
At this point, I was glued to GMoney's Twitter account waiting for the detail, and he shared some pretty interesting stuff. Apparently GMoney and other NFT investors were given a tour of Christie's before the auction.
All the traditional art in the auction was displayed on the wall like a museum, bold, regal, and looking like a million (or $80M) bucks. The Punks? Well, they were pretty much hidden, separated from each other and cut into tiny little squares.
Rather than putting together a showcase and featuring the Punks like the other art, giving some background and explaining why they're valuable, they just spread them throughout the gallery like toys. Honestly, it feels in many ways like they were ridiculing rather than marketing or trying to sell.
I think GMoney did a solid job detailing what happened and why Christie's really missed the mark on this one. You can read the whole thread on Twitter here.
I think it's going to take the traditional art world some time to get used to NFTs....but I also think there's a big opportunity for someone to come in and take Christie's place when it comes to auctioning off rare and valuable NFTs. If Christie's doesn't get their act together, someone's going to take their place as the world continues to change.
Thanks to GMoney for sharing all these details with us - you rock!