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Entertainment Crypto investor MetaKovan is revealed as $70M buyer of Beeple collage

02:11  13 march  2021
02:11  13 march  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Christie's auction house has named the buyer of a $70 million digital-only artwork as a crypto asset investor based in Singapore who goes by the pseudonym 'MetaKovan.'

The auction to buy the work by digital artist Beeple, which ended on Thursday, was the first ever sale by a major auction house of a piece of digital art that does not exist in physical form.

The work is in the form of a new kind of digital asset: a Non-Fungible Token (NFT). This means that it is authenticated by blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, which certifies the work's originality and ownership.

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MetaKovan, whose real name was not disclosed, is the founder of Metapurse, the world's largest NFT fund, which stands to gain from the publicity surrounding the sale.

a crowd of people: The Singaporean crypto investor paid $69.3 million for this massive digital collage by Beeple, and brazenly predicts that its true value is $1 billion © Provided by Daily Mail The Singaporean crypto investor paid $69.3 million for this massive digital collage by Beeple, and brazenly predicts that its true value is $1 billion

The work, called 'Everydays: The First 5000 Days' is a collage of 5,000 individual images, which were made one-per-day over more than thirteen years.

It sold for $69,346,250, which MetaKovan paid in the form of cryptocurrency Ether.

The sale put Beeple into the top three most valuable living artists, Christie's said, trailing only David Hockney and Jeff Koons.

'When you think of high-valued NFTs, this one is going to be pretty hard to beat. And here's why - it represents 13 years of everyday work,' MetaKovan said in a statement released by Christie's.

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'Techniques are replicable and skill is surpassable, but the only thing you can't hack digitally is time. This is the crown jewel, the most valuable piece of art for this generation. It is worth $1 billion.'

Beeple is an American digital artist based in South Carolina whose real name is Mike Winkelmann. He's been creating digital sketches using 3D tools on a daily basis for the past 13 years.

a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Beeple is an American digital artist based in South Carolina whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, seen above. He is now the third-highest selling living artist in the world © Provided by Daily Mail Beeple is an American digital artist based in South Carolina whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, seen above. He is now the third-highest selling living artist in the world a bunch of items that are on display in a store: The work, called 'Everydays: The First 5000 Days' (detail above) is a collage of 5,000 individual images, which were made one-per-day over more than thirteen years © Provided by Daily Mail The work, called 'Everydays: The First 5000 Days' (detail above) is a collage of 5,000 individual images, which were made one-per-day over more than thirteen years

Auction house Christie's calls his work 'abstract, fantastical, grotesque or absurd.' He has 1.9 million followers on Instagram.

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'I believe we are witnessing the beginning of the next chapter in art history, digital art,' Beeple said in a statement released by Christie's.

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'This is work that has just as much craft, message, nuance and intent as anything made on a physical canvas and I am beyond honored and humbled to represent the digital art community in this historic moment,' added Beeple.

In December, the first extensive auction of his art brought in $3.5 million, an eye-catching amount that was surpassed by this week's record-shattering sale of his collage.

At detail from one of the panels of the massive collage shows Beeple's handiwork © Provided by Daily Mail At detail from one of the panels of the massive collage shows Beeple's handiwork Another panel from the collage shows one of the 5,000 images that make it up © Provided by Daily Mail Another panel from the collage shows one of the 5,000 images that make it up

It comes as the NFT trend takes the art world by storm, with memes and old tweets selling for millions of dollars in what some are calling a speculative bubble.

Digital artist Anne Spalter started out as an NFT skeptic but has now sold multiple artworks using the tokens.

The latest was a video called 'Dark Castles' - of mysteriously distorted castles generated by artificial intelligence technology - that sold for $2,752.

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'NFTs have opened up art to a whole bunch of people who never would have gone to a gallery in New York,' said Spalter, who pioneered digital fine arts courses at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1990s. 'They're investors, they're tech entrepreneurs, they're in that world.'

Spalter said she expects this bubble to pop, though she still believes NFTs hold promise for artists as a way to reduce fraud and misattribution of works.

'I'm still mystified by the prices and how high they are,' she said. 'I think there will be a correction.'

What is the 'NFT' craze all about?

A digital art piece, tweaked using cryptocurrency technology to make it one-of-a-kind, sold at auction this week for nearly $70 million. That transaction made global headlines and buoyed already-mushrooming interest in these kinds of digital objects - known as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs - that have captured the attention of artists and collectors alike.

WHAT IS A NON-FUNGIBLE TOKEN?

In economics jargon, a fungible token is an asset that can be exchanged on a one-for-one basis. Think of dollars or bitcoins - each one has the exact same value and can be traded freely. A non-fungible object, by contrast, has its own distinct value, like an old house or a classic car.

Cross this notion with cryptocurrency technology known as the blockchain and you get NFTs. These are effectively digital certificates of authenticity that can be attached to digital art or, well, pretty much anything else that comes in digital form - audio files, video clips, animated stickers, this article you're reading.

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NFTs confirm an item's ownership by recording the details on a digital ledger known as a blockchain, which is public and stored on computers across the internet, making it effectively impossible to lose or destroy.

At the moment, these tokens are white-hot in the collecting world, where they're being used to solve a problem central to digital collectibles: how to claim ownership of something that can be easily and endlessly duplicated.

WHAT RIGHTS DOES AN NFT CONVEY?

Anyone can download a copy of Beeple's art from his social media feed, print it out, and hang it on the wall. Just like you can take a photo of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre or buy a print from the museum gift shop. But that doesn't mean you own those original artworks.

One purpose of NFTs is that they can be used to trace an object's digital provenance, allowing a select few to prove ownership. In the broader picture, it's a way to create scarcity -- albeit artificial - so that you can sell something for higher prices thanks to its scarcity.

'All the time, money and effort you spend in your digital life, you can create value for that,' said Chicago fund manager Andrew Steinwold, who started an NFT fund in 2019. 'You have property rights in the physical world. Why don´t we have property rights in the digital world?'

Some NFT issuers give full copyrights to the buyer, though others do not.

WHO ELSE IS SELLING NFTs?

William Shatner of 'Star Trek' fame sold 90,000 virtual trading cards last year for $1 each. Electronic musician Grimes sold $6 million worth of her digital art last month, including a video clip featuring winged cherubs floating in pastel dreamscapes that went for $389,000.

Clips of NBA star LeBron James dunking are selling for as much as $225,000. Actress Lindsey Lohan sold an image of her face.

You can also buy virtual land in video games and meme characters like Nyan Cat.

Digital artist Anne Spalter started out as an NFT skeptic but has now sold multiple artworks using the tokens. The latest was a video called 'Dark Castles' -- of mysteriously distorted castles generated by artificial intelligence technology - that sold for $2,752.

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'NFTs have opened up art to a whole bunch of people who never would have gone to a gallery in New York,' said Spalter, who pioneered digital fine arts courses at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1990s. 'They´re investors, they´re tech entrepreneurs, they´re in that world.'

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Cristiano Ronaldo, the first player to be paid in crypto-currency! .
The Revolution is already there. Cristiano Ronaldo is the first player to be paid in crypto-currency of football history. © Panoramic Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo received 770 Fan Tokens $ Juv before the defeat of Juventus against Benevento Sunday (1-0) to celebrate its record of 770 goals in career. Ronaldo therefore marked the story of two different ways. With his record, which allowed him to overtake himself, but also by becoming the first player to be paid in this way.

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