A digital artwork of a young artist was sold for $21,350—or 1.1 BTC—on Nifty Gateway, a non-fungible token (NFT) exchange owned by United States cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.
According to Nifty Gateway data, the artwork depicting a stylized New York Skyline was commissioned by Morgan Creek Digital Assets founder Anthony Pompliano and his partner Jason Williams from the 17-year-old artist Fewocious. It was sold for $21,350 yesterday. Pompliano said:
“The digital art market cap is going to be bigger than the traditional art industry. Mark my words.”
The Nifty Gateway description of the artwork notes that it is the “first ever commissioned piece up for auction” on the platform. Furthermore, it also details how the proceeds will be spent:
“Pomp and Jason wanted to do something to help out NYC, who has been hit very hard by COVID-19. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to FoodBankNYC, who helps provide food to those in need in the city. FEWOCiOUS will also […] receive direct proceeds from the sale of the auction in addition to the original commission fee.”
In a post published in late September, Pompliano says that he and Williams commissioned a 6-piece collection from Fewocious—whom he believes to be “the best digital artist in the world.” In the post he also said:
“Jason and I both have deep conviction in the future of digital art, so we plan to invest heavily in the space over the coming months and years. We are constantly looking for the best digital artists. We’ll continue publicly sharing the various artists we work with and the pieces we add to our collection.”
The rise of NFTs
Non fungible tokens, or NFTs, are used to represent goods that are unique. Unlike Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH)—where every coin is the same—no two NFTs are alike. For this reason, NFTs are often proposed by many as a way to tokenize real-world assets or to create digital collectibles whose scarcity and ownership can be confirmed.
“New York Skyline” is not the first piece of tokenized art to be auctioned, nor the most valuable. In October, the famed auction house Christie’s sold NFT artwork by London-based artist Ben Gentilli for $130,000—although it was not a pure-play digital artwork.
Part of a 40-piece work, “Block 21” combined physical art—disks engraved with Satoshi Nakamoto’s original code for Bitcoin—with an integral NFT work which depicts Block 21 changing from day to night depending on the physical version’s location and time zone.
As NFTs see adoption and development slowly ramp up, industry players are starting to join the space. As Modern Consensus reported in mid-November, Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin announced that it intends to launch an NFT exchange, claiming that to be “the first major crypto platform to support the deposit and withdrawal of NFT assets.”
These aren’t just works of art. Notable recent NFT sales include a $113,000 Formula 1 car token for the game F1 Delta Time and a skin of the No. 1 YouTuber PewDiePie for the Wallem mobile game, which sold for about $25,000 in early November.