Iconic auction house, Sotheby’s has introduced a new on-chain non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace allowing digital art collectors to purchase secondary NFTs.
The legacy auction house has been dabbling with NFTs for quite some time now, facilitating some of the most historic digital art sales. Sotheby’s Metaverse, launched in October 2021, was the only auction house to build a proprietary, custom NFT marketplace, offering a curated selection of digital artworks chosen by the auction house’s specialists. In the same year, the platform sold a rare CryptoPunk known as “Covid Alien” for a whopping $11.8 million.
Moments ago in our #London saleroom, an extremely rare “Alien” CryptoPunk #7523 from the collection of @sillytuna sold for $11.8M as part of our #NativelyDigital NFT auction – setting a new world auction record for a single CryptoPunk. pic.twitter.com/PDVUSttI3o
— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) June 10, 2021
Over the past year, the platform has partnered with many crypto artists, curators, and collectors in order to tap the explosion of interest in blockchain-based art assets. As per the auction house, Sotheby’s Metaverse, which combines a curated selection with “leading-edge Web3 technology,” seeks to serve as a virtual meeting spot for the most sought-after NFTs.
Sotheby’s Doubles Down on NFT
On May 1, Sotheby’s took to Twitter to announce the launch of the secondary NFT marketplace for transactions on Ethereum (ETH) and Polygon (MATIC) networks. The secondary sales on Sotheby’s Metaverse are facilitated entirely through automated smart contracts allowing collectors to pay for the digital collectibles in ETH or MATIC, using their own self-hosted digital wallets.
The next evolution of #SothebysMetaverse is here! The most trusted and dynamic destination to collect, buy and sell remarkable digital works.
Explore: https://t.co/hZvYIkO3xx pic.twitter.com/dCkaCKlXVm
— Sotheby's Metaverse (@Sothebysverse) May 1, 2023
The platform built by its Web3 arm, “Sotheby’s Metaverse” aims to offer a peer-to-peer marketplace that will feature fully on-chain sales showcasing a rotating selection of high-profile Web3 artists curated by Sotheby’s specialists. It means, work from artists selected by Sotheby’s digital art specialists will be featured on a rotating basis on the new marketplace.
The first batch of 13 artists will include Tyler Hobbs, Claire Silver, XCOPY, Diana Sinclair and IX Shells, among many others. Sotheby’s noted, it intends to utilize smart contracts in order to pay out artist royalties in accordance with each artist’s stated on-chain royalty rate.
A New Digital Art Gallery
In addition, the legendary auction house is also planning to launch a new digital art gallery through the Web3 art gallery platform “Oncyber”, later this year, that will feature select works from the secondary market. Sotheby’s is partnering with the well-known pseudonymous digital art collector “Cozomo de’ Medici”, to curate one of the gallery’s rooms. Sebastian Fahey, Sotheby’s Executive Lead for Metaverse said,
“We are continuing to advance and evolve our platform to offer new and more seamless ways for the community to discover and collect new forms of digital collectibles, from limited edition NFTs to unique works by the artists redefining perceptions of digital art.”