NFTs are extremely popular on the internet and are sometimes traded for tens of millions. Now, the first Wikipedia entry has changed hands in the form of an NFT for US$750,000.
Auction houses discover NFTs for themselves
Marketplaces like OpenSea have enabled NFTs to become giants in the crypto world. There they can be exchanged freely and easily. Classic auction houses like Christies and Sothebys quickly jumped on the bandwagon.
In fact, this step was a complete success. Compared to other sectors, auction houses have adapted quickly to the new circumstances. As recently as March, Christies made global headlines with a special sale.
Mike Winklemann, commonly known as the Beeple, is a graphic artist. He enjoys creating digital artwork. One of them is the iconic Everydays: The First 5000 Days Mosaic.
As a mosaic in his “Everydays” series, it consists of 5,000 individual images. Each image was drawn as a summary of one or more events on a particular day.
Christies sold the digital illustration for a whopping $69.3 million! Mosaic thus set a record as the most expensive NFT to date. Another photo by artist Beeple follows in second place.
This image, called Human One, was also sold by Christies. Three different Cryptopunks follow in ranks 3-5 of the most expensive NFTs, all of which have reached a sale value of several million US dollars.
Even the most expensive Cryptopunk has been auctioned through the Sotheby’s auction house. Cryptopunks are the first works of art of their kind and therefore have legendary status in the crypto scene.
Criticism of NFTs
In addition to a seemingly huge number of enthusiastic NFT enthusiasts, there have been more and more criticisms lately. Even artist Beeple’s mosaic caused a stir, not least because of its astronomical sale value.
In this video, Till explains what an NFT is in a very comfortable way.
When buying an NFT, an artwork must be sold that can be identified as a unique piece by a specific address. This address is assigned to it by the blockchain on which the NFT is stored.
However, the actual content of the sale is often not stored on the blockchain itself. Instead, the blockchain contains a link to the image, which is usually stored on Google Drive. These are the so-called off-chain NFTs.
Theoretically, a unique piece purchased for millions could easily disappear by causing the copy to disappear in the cloud. The link provided would then be dead.
That this case can occur in practice, has long been proven. The sticking point: although the link to the work is stored in a decentralized way, the work itself is not. So investing in an off-chain NFT is still playing with fire in this case.
On-chain NFTs also cannot escape criticism. Although they are stored on the respective blockchain, they can be easily downloaded and stored locally.
Because copies are so easy to make, some users find NFTs unnecessary. However, proponents argue that copies of physical artwork also exist. The real Mona Lisa, for example, is always unique.
On YouTube, you can find videos that shed more light on the critical topic on and off channel. What needs to be considered can also be found here.
First Wikipedia NFT sold
At least one of these points of criticism can also be demonstrated using the example of Wikipedia’s first NFT. We can present this NFT to you in all its glory without spending a dime.
The buyer paid Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales a whopping $750,000 for the Ethereum NFT. Full auction details can be viewed here. The first Wikipedia entry was 20 years and 11 months old at the time of the sale and finally celebrates its 21st birthday on January 15.
The minimalist NFT impressively shows how much has developed since then. A similar experience can be felt by looking at the first SMS that Vodafone also auctioned off as NFT.
French auction house Aguttes led the sale. 132,680 euros were collected for this first SMS. With this sale, Vodafone wishes you a Merry Christmas.