The JPG image above is named Everydays—The First 5000 Days. It is a digital collage of all the images that the artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, has been creating and posting each day since 2007.
It’s a beautiful piece, especially when examined up close. But what makes this artwork noteworthy is that it sold for $69 million last week at an online Christies auction—the third-highest auction price achieved for a living artist, after Jeff Koons and David Hockney.
The artworld is excited about this new market for digital art, which is minted as NFTs. A non-fungible token (NFT) is a file stored on a digital ledger called a blockchain. An NFT is created by uploading a file to an NFT auction market where it can be bought with cryptocurrency and then resold. Everydays—The First 5000 Days was paid in Ethereum, not US dollars.
Our studio has been creating and using JPG files for years. Little did I know the potential value of this humble, utilitarian file format.
For more on NFT artwork and its impact on the environment, see Chris’s blog post from February.
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