California photographer Matthew Reamer announces the sale of three portraits of Ether founder Vitalik Buterin NFT.Reamer photographed Buterin four months after Ether’s launch in 2015.
The portraits, which are being auctioned on his page at the NFT Marketplace Foundation, show Vitalik Buterin as his star was just starting to rise.
The first NFT, which has attracted bids of 1.65 ETH so far, is an action-packed photo of the young software developer looking serious on his laptop. The other two are more typical photos – a full-face shot and a headshot against a dark background.
The photos are a profile of the then-21-year-old Vitalik Buterin commissioned by Swiss publication Das Magazin, which reached out to Reamer on Nov. 4, 2015, touting Vitalik Buterin as the “blockchain-based platform that could revolutionize the financial system” inventor.
Reamer tweeted.” We rented a crappy Airbnb for the shoot and managed to get some nice portraits. I’m happy to see our work on the cover, although I had no inkling of what the next few years would bring.”
Das Magazin offered Reamer 750 Swiss francs for his work, which at the time was equivalent to about $750. At the time, Ether was worth about $1. Today, it’s trading at $3,230. On Twitter, Reamer expressed regret that he “didn’t look into it more deeply.” If he had deposited his earnings in Ether, his cryptocurrency stash would be worth nearly $2.5 million at today’s prices.
In that thread, Reamer went on to talk about the world of NFTs-tokenized digital assets typically built on Ether. According to a report this year by cryptocurrency data aggregator CoinGecko, the market cap of NFTs reached $28 billion by the end of the first quarter of the year.
Reamer tweeted about the NFT boom, “It quickly occurred to me that, as far as I know, I have the only portrait of the man who created the NFTs platform, taken in the early days of his creation. How arcane!”
Despite this regret, Reamer has secured his place in blockchain history as the visual chronicler of a young rising star who brought the market the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
Buterin’s achievements go far beyond cryptocurrency. Ether’s blockchain popularized smart contracts, bringing billions of dollars worth of financial services and digital assets into existence. But is that enough to raise the bid for Rimmer’s NFT?