• In the NFT world, will auction houses outnumber museums?

  • The year 2021 has been a wild ride in the NFT ecosystem, particularly in the art world. The auction of the NFT “Everydays: the First 5000 Days” by Beeple, which sold for $69 million by Christie’s last March, was one of the main catalysts.

    According to Resnicow and Associates, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) acquired CryptoPunks NFT #5293 in July as a gift from Eduardo Burillo. However, until now, NFT adoption has been more prevalent in auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s than in museums.

    Why are museums lagging behind non-profit organizations?

    According to Apollo art magazine, aside from the ICA Miami receiving an NFT, only a few other museums, such as the British Museum in London and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, have been involved in this world.

    Some of the challenges museums face when entering the NFT world are: NFTs are linked to cryptocurrencies, which involve regulatory uncertainties and volatility; and the fact that an NFT could be an income-producing asset for a museum could result in a variety of issues, such as limiting public access to the collection, proper reinvestment of the income received, and the possibility of an NFT collection being treated as a financial asset insuring the collection.

    The art world is changing as a result of Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

    The way we sell art is changing, and Sotheby’s and Christie’s are pulling the strings to make this happen.

    November was a pivotal month in the world of NFT. According to Christie’s website, they partnered with OpenSea last week to create the first on-chain auction called “Christie’s X OpenSea.” The exhibition will be open to the public in OpenSea from December 1-3, and bidding will be open from December 4-7.

    “My hope is that this marks the start of a new era for NFT sales at Christie’s, where amazing technology can be used to its full potential and facilitate the onboarding of even more traditional contemporary art collectors to Web3,” said Noah Christie’s, head of Digital and Online sales.

    Also, during the auction of two Banksy paintings, Sotheby’s accepted Ethereum (ETH) bids. However, one of Sotheby’s most significant contributions to the NFT ecosystem was the construction of a replica of their London auction house in a prime location in the Decentraland metaverse where you can enter their gallery from anywhere in the world, as referenced below.

    The art world is going digital. Museums and auction houses have taken a different approach to the NFT ecosystem thus far. The art industry may continue to change as a result of these new metaverse trends.

    Will the Louvre follow in the footsteps of Sotheby’s and enter the metaverse? It’s difficult to predict, but keep in mind that art museums explain history through art, and NFTs will undoubtedly be a part of our history.

    What's your reaction?