Prestigious auction house Sotheby’s has launched a new Metaverse-themed nonfungible token (NFT) platform.
The platform is dubbed “Sotheby’s Metaverse” and was announced alongside the “Natively Digital 1.2: The Collectors” (ND1.2) auction that will run between Monday, Oct. 18 and Tuesday, Oct. 26. The auction consists of 53 lots of tokenized art from the vaults of 19 curators.
The list of curators includes some top collectors in the NFT space such as PleasrDAO, Pranksy and 888 along with crypto-friendly stars such as DJ Steve Aoki and self-described “Boss-Babe” Paris Hilton.
“These collectors are people with deep histories and relationships in the digital art and media space, many of whom have been collecting long before NFTs became a common term and have helped build the ecosystem from the ground up,” the exhibition notes state.
The platform is accepting payments in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and USD Coin (USDC), along with credit card payments and wire transfers. Sotheby’s Metaverse is powered by Mojito, an NFT studio and blockchain tech platform that develops and operates NFT marketplaces for brands and IP holders.
The ND1.2 collection features prominent NFT projects, such as Yuga Labs (Bored Ape Yacht Club), Dapper Labs (CryptoKitties), Art Blocks (Chromie Squiggle) and Ponderware (MoonCats).
Sotheby’s was founded in London during the mid-1700s and has since grown into a multinational giant that has expanded into 80 locations across 40 countries. The firm hosted its first NFT auction in April, partnering with the digital artist known as “Pak” to sell $16.8 million worth of tokenized art.
In June, the auction house sold CryptoPunk #7523 —also known as “COVID Alien” — for a record $11.8 million, and last month, it hosted an auction with Yuga Labs for a collection of 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs that generated $24 million.
Sotheby’s is no stranger to the early iterate metaverse either. In June, the firm opened a virtual gallery in Decentraland that depicted the auction house's New Bond Street Gallery in London.
The structure was built in Decentraland’s Voltaire Art District and featured Sotheby’s London Commissionaire, Hans Lomulder who greeted guests at the door, with the gallery displaying the COVID Alien CryptoPunk and Robert Alice’s intelligent NFT (iNFT).
The virtual metaverse has been grabbing the headlines of late, due in part to Facebook’s recent push to establish itself in the sector. Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 28 that Facebook is allocating $50 million to a two-year fund to back the firm’s target of building its own metaverse.
“The metaverse won’t be built overnight by a single company. We’ll collaborate with policymakers, experts and industry partners to bring this to life,” Facebook said as part of its funding announcement.