Last October, the digital artist Mike Winkelmann, who goes by Beeple, put a digital artwork in an edition of 100 up for sale. Each work cost $1, and the entire set sold out in less than one second. Today the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) representing the digital artworks are trading on Nifty Gateway, an NFT marketplace run by the Winklevoss twins, for “well over $50,000,” Winkelmann says. (The site lists the average resale price as $6,559, but the artist says that number is misleading, as it includes early, low-priced sales.)
In December, Beeple held an auction, in which he offered an open edition of three works, priced at $969 apiece. In five minutes 601 sold, totaling $582,369. The same auction included 20 unique digital artworks, which made a total of $2.2 million. The final lot in the sale was a single artwork containing all 20 images, which sold, after protracted bidding, for $777,778. All told, $3.5 million of Beeple’s art sold in just a few days.