Sotheby’s First NFTs Sold on Nifty Supported by Seward & Kissel

Sotheby’s first NFT [non-fungible token] sale completed yesterday.  The digital artist known as Pak sold multiple NFTs for almost $17 million.

Hosted on Gemini’s Nifty Gateway, the sale allowed collectors to bid on NFTs for limited-edition artworks in “The Fungible Collection” and open edition artworks in “The Fungible Open Collection.”

The NFT for “The Pixel,” a single-edition piece consisting of a lone 1×1 pixel, sold for $1.35 million, and the NFT for “The Switch,” a single-edition piece of artwork developed to change form at a specific point of time in the future, known only to the artist, sold for $1.4 million.

Pak’s standing as a digital artist was said to make them an ideal partner for Sotheby’s entry into the NFT market. Pak has been creating digital art for more than 25 years and, in late 2020, became the first artist to sell an NFT for $1 million. Pak may be best known as the creator of Archillect, which uses artificial intelligence to discover and share visually interesting content on social media.

Seward & Kissel, the law firm that advised Sotheby’s on the sale of Pak’s artwork, including agreements with the artist and with Nifty Gateway, shared distributed some information on the sale.

Meir Grossman, a partner in Seward & Kissel’s Business Transactions Group and Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group said they were honored to assist Sotheby’s in this groundbreaking sale that keeps it firmly at the frontier of the art world.

Seward & Kissel partner Anthony Tu-Sekine, who heads the firm’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Group, said the two firms both understand how important it is for historic institutions to stay attuned to new developments in their fields:

“We are grateful that Sotheby’s chose us to advise them on their first foray into the world of NFTs. This deal may have involved a law firm founded in 1890 advising an auction house founded in 1744, but it shows that both firms understand that to stay relevant, you have to be able to understand and embrace new developments and that you can never stop looking forward.”

The engagement was said to be an extension of the firm’s active work on blockchain-related transactions.


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