Sotheby’s Records $100mln in NFT Sales in 2021
Sotheby’s had a record-breaking 2021, aided by the company’s entry into non-fungible tokens. As per the latest annual business report, the roughly three century old auction firm generated $100 million from sales of NFTs, with first-time buyers rushing to its online Decentraland exhibition and searching for Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunk items.
According to the research, the debut of Sotheby’s Metaverse, a web3-enabled NFT platform, assisted in attracting a broader audience in 2021, with 78% of NFT bidders who took part in the auction being newcomers to Sotheby’s and over half of them were less 40yrs, according to the report. The sales contributed to the company’s total revenues of $7.3 billion, which was up from the previous year.
Earlier this year, Sotheby’s launched its first NFT auction in conjunction with digital artist Pak, resulting in a three-day auction of a series referred to as “The Fungible” that raised $16.8 million. Additional significant revenue were generated from the sales of a series of NFTs known as the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which received a bid of $24.4 million, breaking the previous record for the most expensive single item auctioned online by Sotheyby’s.
Banksy’s “Love is in the Bin” also set a new record by tripling its original figure, while Kanye West’s “Grammy worn” Nike Air Yeezy model from 2008 set a new record for the most expensive pair of sneakers ever sold. Per an AFP article, sales were driven by Asian purchasers, novice collectors, and also the Macklowe collection, which was the world’s most valuable collection to get listed for sale at that time.
A total of 46% of bids and acquisitions on pieces valued at more than $5 million were made by Asian buyers. “Le Nez” by Alberto Giacometti was purchased for $78.4 million by cryptocurrency billionaire Justin Sun, according to Sotheby’s, who claimed the acquisition represented “an infusion of millennial, tech-savvy buyers,” according to the article.