scorecardFamed auction house Sotheby's is getting in on the crypto-art craze
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Famed auction house Sotheby's is getting in on the crypto-art craze

Grace Kay   

Famed auction house Sotheby's is getting in on the crypto-art craze
Tech2 min read
  • The nearly 300-year-old auction house Sotheby's plans to sell crypto art on its site.
  • The auction house will collaborate with digital artist Pak on its first NFT sale.
  • Sotheby's CEO said the company has been eyeing NFTs for some time now.
Sotheby's - a nearly 300-year-old auction house - announced plans to sell its first crypto art piece on Tuesday.

The historic auction house will be partnering with the anonymous digital artist Pak for the upcoming sale. Sotheby's announced its collaboration with Pak on Twitter by posting a video of a Pak art piece.

The decision comes just days after another historic auction house, Christie's, made history with a $69.3 million crypto-art sale - shattering digital-art records and making its creator one of the top three most valuable living artists in the world.

At the time, Christie's was not even able to set an estimated value for the Beeple piece, before bids for the art rose from $15 million to nearly $70 million in a matter of moments during the auction's final hour.

Sites that sell crypto art - also known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) - have generated over $1 billion in the past 30 days, according to CryptoSlam.

Sotheby's said it chose Pak because of the artist's history in the NFT space.

The pseudonymous digital creator Pak has been working on crypto art for some time now. His style often incorporates music and moving geometric shapes.

Read more: Here are 4 NFT startups transforming the way we buy art and sports memorabilia

On the curated art site SuperRare, Pak is one of the top-selling artists. According to a Crypto Art Data website, Pak has already generated over $1 million in ethereum on the trading platform.

Sotheby's did not reveal full details on its plans to make its first foray into the crypto space, but said it plans to bring in more digital artists in the months to come.

"This is just the first step for us, and we want to smartly and strategically look at how we can not only enter the digital art sphere but create a bridge from digital art to our auction business," Sotheby's press release said. "We're looking to expand upon this first venture in the months to come with new ideas and concepts, such as introducing well-known contemporary artists into the digital art space."

In an interview with CNBC's Squawk Box on Tuesday, the CEO of Sotheby's Charles Stewart said the company has been following the crypto art space for a long time.

"There's a lot here that's really exciting and, we think, has staying power," Stewart told CNBC.