Sotheby’s, which accounts for 24% of global art auction sales, has launched an online secondary marketplace for its curated non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as the 279-year-old auction house for fine art expands its push into digital assets.

See related article: Sotheby’s to auction off NFTs owned by defunct hedge fund Three Arrows Capital

Fast facts

  • Sotheby’s tweeted on Monday that its new NFT marketplace, built by its  Sotheby’s Metaverse unit, will feature a rotating, curated selection of artists hand-picked by Sotheby’s specialists, and collectors can make transactions on its platform.
  • “Fully on-chain peer-to-peer transactions will be executed on the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains,” Sotheby’s said in the tweet, adding that artist resale royalties will be “honored directly on-chain through marketplace smart contracts.”
  • The secondary marketplace will host NFT artwork on rotation, featuring works from digital artists, including XCOPY, Tyler Hobbs and Claire Silver, the company said.
  • Sotheby’s is an early adopter of cryptocurrency in the auction world. In July 2021, the company sold a 101.38-carat diamond for HK$95.1 million (US$12.1 million) in an unspecified cryptocurrency at an auction in Hong Kong.
  • Last month, Sotheby’s said it will hold sales of the so-called “Grails” art collection, which consists of NFT artwork that belongs to the bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, during its Marquee Sale Week at Sotheby’s New York starting May 19.

See related article: Why I’m excited about commercial IP NFTs