Issue 11 🍵 Sold for $69M! Now what?

That Beeple Christie's sale, Punks, art theft, and more!

Beeple and MetaKovan strike again

Since this happened 5 days ago, we’re just gonna assume you've already seen this news. So here’s a condensed recap:

  1. Beeple is a digital artist, most known for publishing a piece everyday for 13 years. A compilation of his first 5,000 pieces was put up for auction at Christie’s.

  2. The piece sold for $69M, catapulting it to the third largest sale by any living artist. Like, that’s on Wikipedia now! :’)

  3. Christie’s revealed a day later that Metakovan, the previous purchaser of 20 unique Beeple pieces, was the winner.

Here’s Metakovan’s reasoning:

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. 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.”

The interesting part for us now is trying to guess what’s next. We’ve had plenty of time to daydream, so behold, our speculations:

  1. MetaKovan had already bought 20 Beeple pieces and fractionalized them into a token before. He could repeat that again with the 5000 DAYS. Another question would be, do B20 token* holders benefit?

  2. MEME, the experimental art platform, has been hinting that Beeple may do a drop with them, based off a promise made last December 2020.

Take note that this is all ~speculation~. So what’s the reality, underneath all the hype and flashing signs?

NFT or not, this was a historic sale. Even TV and media outlets covered it! And it’s monumental that Beeple’s getting his roses while he’s still alive. How does this challenge legacy institutions? And what does this mean for creators in general?

If there’s one sure thing amidst all this noise, it’s that the world is paying attention to NFTs. For proof, look no further than Sotheby’s**, another esteemed auction house, joining the fray.

*If you’re new to the B20 token, read Issue 3.

**We tackled Sotheby’s acquiring a Pak piece before in Issue 2.

If you’ve been liking Cup so far, consider donating to us on Gitcoin! Every person that donates enables us to get some extra funding from the sponsors.

That funding will definitely go towards buying NFTs, if possible, because skin in the game is the best way to learn! If the amount can’t survive ETH gas, it’ll be funding the caffeine for our late-night writing sprints 🍵

Other news

👽 Two Alien CryptoPunks sold for $7M each this week, #7804 and #3100. #7804’s a little more interesting because the seller, the CEO of design tool Figma, gave this poetic explanation on his view as art as community. The buyer, Peruggia, also wrote a fantastic thread on the value of scarce digital goods in an increasingly digital world (below). So good.

😔 The highly-profiled crypto-artist, Twisted Vacancy, turned out to have been a 28-person collective this entire time. To make it worse, they were heavily sampling work from another artist called ardneks. IP, copyright, and NFTs are just a whole can of worms, but theft’s never okay. :/

👮 Some users on Nifty Gateway got hacked. The issue wasn’t on Nifty’s side, but on the users’ email/password side. So, reminder: 2FA your accounts! Review your email, passwords, and mobile number access! This is crypto, and once it’s stolen, it’s gone forever.

🚢 Opensea’s removed the need to submit work for approval! This means that any upload should appear in the public search. Great for smaller creator discovery, and as a user, just a general reminder to always double-check what you’re buying.

🔓 Minting on Zora is now open to the public! Visually, it looks like a Tumblr for NFTs, but been excited for them ever since reading their stance on creative composability. Their vision on a protocol for NFTs is also just *chef’s kiss.* Plus: no marketplace fees!

Reading list

Creative corner: Gossip Goblin

Zack London, also known as Gossip Goblin, immediately caught our eye with his work.

Just look at the visuals! They’re beautifully intricate pieces that immediately brought to mind vintage anatomical drawings, with a bit of an alien twist.

But secondly, each piece on his Foundation profile comes with these delightful part-fairytale, part-alternative-history Goblin stories. That storytelling is part and parcel of the entire experience, and it’s a treat to see someone put such effort into their captions.

Find more of Gossip Goblin on his website and Linktree.

Try this: NFTBank

If you’ve bought NFTs on-chain, then try out NFTBank! They take your transaction history and then crunch the numbers for a birds-eye view of your portfolio. Did you make a profit? How much did you spend for certain categories?

It’s just such a joy to use. You can consolidate wallets, and their AI correctly labels OTC transactions too! Their explorer is also very fun to poke around if you like data.

That’s it for today! Know we said we were going to release something last Friday, but then got hit with the worst writer’s block. So sigh, just going to take it easy and let that piece come together when it feels like it.

But also, Cup hit 100 subscribers! AAAH. 🎉

🍵 See you again next Wednesday. Thank you for being here.

Disclaimer: None of this is investment advice!