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Sotheby’s to auction digital art in a digital world

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Crypto News

Sotheby’s Auction House is launching its own metaverse to offer prospective buyers a new way of engaging with non-fungible token (NFT) artworks through an immersive digital experience, according to a press release shared with Forkast.News.

Fast facts

  • The metaverse will allow users to explore and learn about the 53 available artworks in an immersive digital world. Those who are interested in purchasing any will be able to explore further using their own digital avatar created by renowned crypto designer Pak. Sotheby’s plans on expanding the services offered through the metaverse to include primary offerings, dynamic auctions, open editions and capabilities to mint generative artworks. The auction house is accepting payment in Ether, Bitcoin, USDC or a range of fiat currencies.
  • Bidding in the first auction to take place in the metaverse, “Natively Digital 1.2: The Collectors,” runs from Oct. 14 to 21. It is the second NFT auction in this series, and will serve as the firm’s flagship biannual NFT auction.
  • “From the moment we first conceptualized our debut NFT sale, we recognized that Sotheby’s was in a unique position to bridge the burgeoning NFT ecosystem with the traditional art world,” said Max Moore, co-head of digital art sales at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. “Since then, we have spent months exploring every aspect of the digital art landscape, aligning with some of the most influential minds of the NFT movement to architect a custom marketplace that prioritizes curation and customization.”
  • A metaverse is an immersive digital environment that seeks to emulate and expand upon elements of the real world, which users are able to inhabit. They were recently in the headlines as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the social media giant was researching how to implement the concept with the existing platform. Metaverses  have been depicted in popular culture such in the book-turned-film franchise “Ready Player One,” but online games such as “Second Life” or “World of Warcraft” could already be considered types of metaverses.
  • Sotheby’s has been an early adopter of crypto and blockchain in the auction world; earlier this year the company sold a 101.38 pear-shaped diamond named “The Key 10138” at an auction in Hong Kong for HK$95.1 million (US$12.3 million) in an unspecified cryptocurrency, making it the most expensive piece of jewellery sold through crypto.

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