Edward Fairchild, one of the founders of Los Angeles-based cannabis company THC Design, revealed that he "stumbled" into buying a nonfungible token, or NFT, from acclaimed digital artist "Beeple" that has since increased in value 30,000% since he purchased it in December 2020.
Recounting the story in an article published by Business Insider on Sunday, Fairchild noted that despite being a long-time fan of Beeple, he didn't have any knowledge about NFTs and had little faith that anybody would want to collect tokenized art at the time of the purchase.
“I had no idea what an NFT was and I'd never heard of Nifty Gateway. [...] I really didn't see the point,” he said, adding:
“I had no idea that spending $969 on a work of art would, within three months, turn into an asset valued around $300,000”
Fairchild recalls stumbling across a video from Beeple while scrolling through Instagram in December 2020. Despite his skepticism regarding tokenized art, the investor’s interest was piqued by Beeple’s "2020 Collection," which featured works combining NFTs with physical art.
Fairchild purchased Beeple’s "The Infected Culture" for $969, with the artwork showcasing one of three works as a looped GIF from a screen in an ornamental display box. The artwork also came with a certificate of authenticity — and a hair sample taken from Beeple.
While the investor speculated that he may be able to sell the artwork for a 100% gain within the next couple of years, Fairchild was unaware of the recent NFT market boom, with secondary sales of Beeple’s works clearing for double their primary selling price within 10 minutes of the auction’s completion.
Within three months, the asset’s value appears to have appreciated nearly 30,000%, with a different copy of The Infected Culture selling for $288,000 on Feb. 26.
However, the LA-based investor has since adjusted his targets, listing the artwork for sale at a price of more than $1.6 million on Nifty Gateway.
On Thursday, Beeple auctioned off his latest piece, “Everydays,” for a record-setting $69 million through Christie's.