LONDON (Reuters) – When James Christ sold his masterpiece to Remathert and Rubens 240 years ago, little did he know that his auction house would one day offer more than a million dollars to a cryptocurrency company.

File photo book visitors will be seen in front of an immersive art gallery titled Media Artist Reficit Anadol, which has been converted to NFT online at Sotheby’s, Digital Art Exhibition, Hong Kong, China September 30, 2021. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

Samuel Baker, the founder of Sotheby’s, also did not intend to sell the original source code (NFT) for $ 5 million in the North, selling 1744 percent of the rare books for $ 1,000.

Times change.

“Everyone wants to sell NFT,” said Cassandra Haton, head of Sotheby’s International Science and Culture. “My inbox is completely closed”

Sostebis sold NFT for $ 65 million in 2021, while Artificial Christ sold more than $ 100 million using the new crypto asset, free to use digital devices such as images and videos, but also blockchain. Like any online file, it is viewed, copied and shared.

Those sales figures for the world’s leading auction houses account for 5.5% of modern art sales, according to art market research. This is a jump as the NFT started last year only.

Many buyers are part of the new rich consumer category of people who have invested in cryptocurrencies, experts who have been involved in NFT sales at major auction houses told Reuters. With Sotheby’s Online NFT sales in June of $ 17.1 million, 70% of buyers were newcomers.

The NF 982,500 ($ 1.3 million) snatched last month in London’s Christie was bought by Costa Canchev, a cartoon monkey called Nexo, a cartoon monkey.

The cartoons are the first NFT sale in Europe from Bored Up Yakut Club and have been the biggest auction in the world since the outbreak began.

In a sign of the times, Kanchev has been shrugging off bidders for the work of David Hawkins, Jean-Michel Basque and Bridget Riley.

According to Anthony Trenchev, who manages Nexo with Kanchev, betting on the NFTs market is less of a moral value than a bet because of the “volatility” in the world of buying monkeys. Buy or sell everything from avatar and clothing to land and buildings.

In fact, digital art is part of the NFT’s explosion sales growth, which has increased by $ 10 billion in the third quarter alone this year, eight times more than in the past three months.

“We are developing new financial tools for the NFT to stimulate the acceptance of the property,” said Trenchev, citing NFT-based financial products as his main asset.

They are not the only ones playing against Metavers. Facebook – A company with close to $ 1 trillion, which has been dubbed as Meta, calculating the future of immersive virtual environments and experiences.

Tradition has improved.

Whether or not Mark Zuckerberg is careful is a matter of concern. The NFT boom has been dragging the auction house into the New World for hundreds of years.

Large auction houses are taking to social media to hunt down their new buyers.

Christ Davis, head of digital digital marketing, said NFT buyers were “unhappy” with the practice of attracting art collectors. Twitter

He told Reuters: “It’s going to be there, customer service is going to be there. How fast is this process compared to traditional methods?”

In another large digital shift, auction houses are often looking for NFTs directly from crypto artists – in many cases lesser-known, anonymous images.

In the physical art market, artists’ primary sales are usually driven by galleries, while auction houses typically focus on secondary market sales.

“What amazes me the most is that the artists want to work directly with the auction house. We’ve always been in the secondary market,” said Rebecca Bowling, a 20-year-old senior artist and Phillips contemporary artist.

“The traditional structure has improved,” he said, reaching out to Bowling, Twitter and Club House for artists.

Why is Crypto dangerous?

But these new entrants to the unknown meters face a new threat, especially around cryptocurrencies, which crypto-rich buyers often choose to pay for NFTs.

Bidding Houses can face legal risks by knowing your KYC and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements, said Max Dilldorf, an attorney and partner at Dealingradf Law Firm in New York.

“These products can be safe, and it’s best to take their own precautions when taking a gallery or product,” he said.

Sotheby’s did not comment on KYC or AML processes. According to Christy, the KYC and AML standards are similar to physical works in NFT sales, although he declined to go into details. Philips said he has confirmed that buyers have enough money in their crypto wallets.

Another issue is that while NFTs are being marketed as a way to register digital property ownership, problems can still arise.

In June, the sale of Sotheby’s NFT – a buyer spent the first $ 1.5 million on NFT, a simple geometric animation by Kevin Makoi – claimed the former owner was complex. The buyer and claimant of that NFT version told Reuters. In fact, the first argument, the so-called NFT, was that the transaction was delayed, and blockchain records did not appear until several weeks after the sale.

Separately, after a Sotheby’s auction for the $ 5.4 million World Wide Web source code was sold, observers noticed errors in the included video version of the code.

Sotheby’s did not respond to requests for comment.

Miami-based Pablo Rodriguez-Frill, who buys both NFT and physical art, said the move by auction houses to the digital sphere was positive.

“I think they are protecting the ecosystem, and I think they will soon find the right path,” he said.

He added that “the challenge of curing and the challenges of technology are major.”

Tuesday, Christie’s NFT The artist, who earned Christie’s $ 69 million in March, will sell the new NFT at Beeple. This is the first time that a large auction house sells out-of-the-art art.

This time, however, the work is sold in both physical and NFT form. At least for Christ, the real world still has some charm.

Reporting by Elizabeth Hawcroft; Correction by Provin Char