A Beeple NFT just sold for $6 million.
Music producer Calvin Harris, DJ Steve Aoki, and ARK Investment Fund’s Cathie Wood bid six-figure sums for a non-fungible token (NFT) from Beeple—the artist Mike Winkelmann whose work recently sold for over $69 million at a Christie’s auction.
Held by the Open Earth Foundation, “The Carbon Drop” online charity auction was held on Nifty Gateway and featured donated NFTs from Beeple and other digital artists including Sara Ludy, Refik Anadol and Andrés Reisinger. All proceeds went to the nonprofit’s mission of advancing “open source platforms that increase planetary resilience.”
A bidding war among celebrities broke out over Beeple’s “Ocean Front,” which depicts a photoshopped montage of a tree growing from shipping containers and RVs stacked precariously above the ocean. Cathie Wood bid $340,000 for the NFT, while Calvin Harris bid $220,000.
— beeple (@beeple) March 23, 2021
The buyer Justin Sun, founder of the blockchain project Tron, paid $6 million for the file.
Other NFTs in the collection were valued northwards of six-figures; a piece by the artist Fvckrender sold for $130,000.
The auction follows Beeple’s rapid ascent as one of the highest valued artists in history. Earlier this month, Christie’s sold one of the artist’s virtual collections wrapped into a single file for $69.3 million, making it the third most-valuable piece by a living artist ever sold at auction. The sale prompted conversations about what entails ownership in the virtual world, whether a piece of art can still hold value without a psychical form, as well as concerns from environmentalists over Ethereum’s massive use of energy.
The collage sold at Christie’s, “The First 5,000 Days” features 5,000 pieces of artwork made by Beeple each day for thirteen years. If each individual piece was essentially valued at $13,800, then this $6 million sale for one piece just set another record for the digital artist.