Morning Minute | A $6.2M Sale Rocks the Digital Art World
Take a minute to catch up on the latest in the Web3 space with today's NFT market analysis, top movers, and upcoming mints.
TylerD's Market Summary
The Goose auction at Sotheby's outperformed everyone's expectations. Read on to find out what happened, other results, and if these results even matter.
🖼 Grails Day Delivers
We said there might be fireworks at the Sotheby's Grails II auctions.
It might have been an understatement.
In an exhilarating live-stream auction, the trophy "Goose" Ringers sold for $6.215M after fees ($5.4M on the hammer).
That was the equivalent of 3,743 ETH, making it by far the highest-ever Art Blocks sale in ETH terms (second most is 2,100 ETH), though just the 2nd-highest in USD.
Was this the ideal outcome? And how did the rest of the lots compare?
Let's dive in.
By the Numbers:
The Grails II auctions tallied $11M in total sales (and over 6,500 ETH).
Here are some of the most notable sales from the live auctions (hammer prices, so add 15% fees to find final totals) and how they compared with Sotheby's estimates:
- The Goose: $5,400,000 (high estimate of $3,000,000)
- Autoglyph #218: $280,000 (high estimate of $180,000)
- Ringers #98: $85,000 (high estimate of $60,000)
- The Eternal Pump #9: $180,000 (high estimate of $180,000)
- Fidenza #479 (micro): $490,000 (high estimate of $180,000)
- Fidenza #216 (spiral): $480,000 (high estimate of $180,000)
- Archetype #397 (Cube): $260,000 (high estimate of $250,000)
- Chromie Squiggle #1780 (Perfect Spectrum): $500,000 (high estimate of $180,000)
Before getting into takeaways, I have to shout out Nikolai Yakovenko and the DeepNFTValue team who nailed their valuations within 5% of the final outcomes.
Now, a few takeaways:
- The Goose greatly outperformed expectations. A few weeks ago, very few people thought it would fetch even $2M. Though the buyer, the 6529 Fund, had a lot to do with the final price (more on that later).
- Fidenzas had a huge day and have cemented their status as the top collection in Art Blocks
- The Cube Archetype under-performed even though it did get bid up to $260,000, but at just 156 ETH, that's a huge cut from its prior buy price of 420 ETH
- The perfect spectrum Chromie Squiggle greatly out-performed and was the fun surprise highlight of the auction, landing the 2nd-highest hammer price of $500,000
Watching the auctions live was a really fun experience, and they went by much faster than I had anticipated (some auctions lasted less than 1 minute).
Now on to the important question.
Why Does This Matter?
In what might be an unpopular opinion, I'm not sure these results really do matter.
It would be easy to come out and praise the high sale and talk about how the headlines will spread across major media and put digital art back on the map.
And maybe that does happen.
But the reality is, most of the bidding done yesterday was from a small group of existing digital art whales (at least from the chatter I've heard).
We already knew that group was bullish on NFTs and generative art.
There weren't trad-art whales in the room. There doesn't seem to be any new blood entering the scene through these auctions.
Isn't that the primary point of using Sotheby's for these auctions (and accruing the 15% fee that doesn't exist on chain)?
I'm rating the result as a "neutral" outcome. It's not a bearish outcome, nor is it that bullish.
That means I also don't think we see much of a market impact resulting from these sales.
As long as this sector of digital art is propped up by this small group of whales, the grails market will be at their whim.
If they decide artists are no longer in favor, or certain Art Blocks sets (like Archetypes) are not as investment-worthy as they once were, these premiums can disappear forever.
It makes it a risky game.
With that all said, I am still a major fan of 6529 and everything they have done to push this space forward and try to spread education and awareness, so I am happy they landed the Goose.
Even if they do intend to sell it within the next 10 years...
🚚 What else is happening in NFTs?
Here is the list of other notable headlines from the day in NFTs:
- Trading volume came in just under 13k ETH on Thursday, with most leading NFTs seeing green on the day, though BAYC and MAYC continue their downtrend (now 44.9 and 8.97 ETH)
- OnChainMonkey minted out their 300 OCM Dimensions in just seconds at a 0.08 BTC price (~1.2 ETH) and now sit at a 0.67 BTC floor (including sales of 1 and 1.5 BTC)
- BTC NFT founder and personality ZK Shark opened a provocative burn event for the next wave of his OMB project, requiring the burn of a CryptoPunk to mint
- PROOF announced a new IRL space called "Foundry by PROOF" in the Arts District of downtown LA, as a place for the community to connect with each other, also allowing artists a place to showcase work
- KILLABEARS released its KILLACUBS Builder yesterday, offering holders the opportunity to create custom KILLACUBS after an eight-week incubation period
- Nike's .SWOOSH OF1s revealed yesterday, with owners able to "open" their shoe boxes for the first time
- Bored & Dangerous's Azur Root burn window opened yesterday after a small delay, with 3,560 NFTs burned so far
- Axie Infinity unveiled a series of new game updates, innovations, and new features in their latest development update
🌎 Around Crypto and Web3
A few other Crypto and Web3 headlines that caught my eye:
- The crypto market rebounded Thursday on the Blackrock ETF news; BTC +2.6% to $25,530; ETH +2.2% at $1,670
- Blackrock has officially filed to create a Bitcoin ETF, offering easier access to BTC for the masses
- Coinbase and Cash App are looking to integrate Jack Dorsey's Bitcoin self-custody wallet within their platforms
- Brian Armstrong's startup ResearchHub has raised $5M in funding, rewarding scientists with crypto for contributionscoib
🚀 NFT Total Volume
- BAYC (5,326 ETH, 44.9 ETH Floor)
- MAYC (3,562 ETH, 8.97 ETH)
- Wrapped Cryptopunks (2,253 ETH, 53.2 ETH)
- Azuki (1,840 ETH, 16.65 ETH)
- DeGods (491 ETH, 9.21 ETH)
📈 NFT Floor Price Increase
- Kanpai Pandas Infinity (87%, 6.75 ETH Floor)
- Maschine (37%, 0.18 ETH)
- Saved Souls (25%, 0.07 ETH)
- 10ktf Kagami (23%, 2.15 ETH)
- The Grapes (21%, 0.22 ETH)
🗓 Upcoming NFT Mints and Reveals
Today is a slower day of mints and events after a very busy past few days.
Today's highlight is the Louis Vuitton Treasure Trunks mint, with their $41,600 soulbound phygital trunks going on sale to those who won the application process.
Given its soulbound and untradeable - don't expect any secondary action.
Otherwise, be on the lookout for any degen mints that gain steam, as traders will look to chase those Boring Punks gains again this weekend.
If you want more, see the full list of today's drops from Swizzy's daily mint monitor.
- The Working Dead (7:00 a.m. ET); 0.02 ETH
- Memes by 6529 (11:00 a.m. ET); 0.06529 ETH
Calendar For Every Day (12:00 p.m. ET); 0.12 ETH
- Louis Vuitton Treasure Trunks (TBD); $41,600
Enjoy this write-up? Follow along with me on Twitter @tyler_did_it or reach out via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all volume and floor price data, see Lucky Trader's Project Rankings page.
For all upcoming mints, see Lucky Trader's NFT Calendar page.