On May 1, the auction house announced an addition to Sotheby’s Metaverse in the form of a “dynamic destination to collect, buy, and sell remarkable digital works.” The blockchain-based NFT marketplace would be primarily for secondary sales of digital art. According to the announcement, the marketplace will feature a rotating, curated selection of leading artists hand-picked by Sotheby’s specialists. The list of artists includes Diana Sinclair, IX Shells, Sarah Zucker, Refik Anadol, Sofia Crespo, Sebastiao Salgado and Tyler Hobbs.
The integrated sales system will be fully on-chain via the Ethereum and Polygon networks, and users can pay in either ETH or MATIC. Secondary-market sales will honor artist resale royalties on-chain through smart contracts, with cryptocurrency payments automatically distributed after secondary sales.
In 2021, Sotheby’s delved into NFTs and made more than $120 million. Its largest auction was by digital artist Pak which went for about $16.8 million. Sotheby’s Metaverse started off with the Natively Digital Sale which featured 53 pieces from 19 NFT artists.
In the coming June, Sotheby’s Metaverse will also launch a new digital gallery through oncyber, a metaverse platform. The gallery will host an exhibition of works from its secondary market, with a room dedicated to each of the 13 inaugural artists. Another room will be curated with digital artwork from the collection of Cozomo de’Medici, a prominent patron of NFTs.
Other auction houses have also entered the metaverse and NFT realm. In September 2022, Christie’s launched Christie’s 3.0, a platform selling NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. We continue to observe.