Thursday, October 22, 2020

Crypto art piece sells for $130K at Christie’s auction house

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Christie’s auction house has announced the sale of a digital portrait of the Bitcoin code for more than $130,000.

It marks the first time a non-fungible token (NFT) was auctioned at a major auction house, and the price exceeded expectations.

According to the auction house, an unknown buyer purchased “Block 21,” comprised of a physical piece of art and an NFT representing Satoshi Nakamoto for $131,250 at Christie’s on Oct. 7 as part of its “Post-War and Contemporary Day Auction.” Bidding started at $22,000.

The artwork, created by Ben Gentilli with the Robert Alice project, is one of 40 creations in a series, and holds exactly 322,048 digits of Satoshi’s original Bitcoin (BTC) code. The series, titled “Portraits of a Mind”, shows the cryptocurrency’s 12.3 million digits of original code individually engraved and painted on 40 different circular panels stretching more than 50 meters in length.

Source: Robert Alice

Christie’s auction was for just one of the paintings in the series — “Block 21” — whose name references the scarcity of Bitcoin being capped at 21 million coins. Binance founder Changpeng Zhao and Bloq chairman Matthew Rozsak have also reportedly purchased pieces from Portraits of a Mind.

“The work is a symbolic expression of Satoshi’s vision, forged out of the very code that lies at the genesis of it all,” states the Robert Alice website. “Portraits of a Mind explores the multi-faceted identities of Satoshi Nakamoto, in turn reflecting on the nature of both identity and portraiture in a newly decentralized age.”

Until now, the most expensive piece of digital art sold at auction was Matt Kane’s NFT “Right Place & Right Time,” based on Bitcoin’s fluctuating price, which sold for $101,593 in September.

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