• Sotheby’s to auction digital art in a digital world

  • Sotheby’s is launching its own metaspace to offer potential buyers a new way to engage with non-friable token (NFT) artwork through an immersive digital experience.

    The metaspace will allow users to explore and learn about the 53 available artworks in an immersive digital world. Those interested in purchasing any of the pieces will be able to explore further using their own digital avatar created by renowned cryptocurrency designer Pak. Sotheby’s plans to expand its offerings through the metaspace to include major products, dynamic auctions, open editions and the ability to cast generated artworks. The auction house accepts payments in ethereum, bitcoin, USDC or a range of fiat currencies.

    The first auction at Metaspace, Natively Digital 1.2: The Collectors, will be up for bidding from October 14-21. This is the second NFT auction in the series, and will serve as the company’s biannual NFT flagship auction.

    “From the moment we first conceived of our first NFT sale,” says Max Moore, co-head of digital art sales at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, “we recognized that Sotheby’s was in a unique position to connect the emerging NFT ecosystem with the traditional art world.” Since then, we’ve spent months exploring every aspect of the digital art scene, aligning ourselves with some of the most influential people in the NFT movement and building a marketplace that prioritizes curation and customization.”

    A metaspace is an immersive digital environment designed to mimic and extend real-world elements that users are able to inhabit. They recently made headlines when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media giant was looking at ways to implement the concept on existing platforms. Metaverses have been portrayed in pop culture, such as the book-turned-movie “Ready Player One,” but online games such as “Second Life” or “World of Warcraft” can already be considered Metaverses of sorts.

    Sotheby’s has been an early adopter of cryptocurrency and blockchain in the auction world; earlier this year, the company sold a pear-shaped diamond called “The Key 10138” at an auction in Hong Kong for HK$95.1 million ($12.3 million), the most expensive jewel ever sold via cryptocurrency.

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