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First Ever NFT Goes up for Auction at Sothebys

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • "Quantum” was created as a digital artwork on the Namecoin blockchain.
  • The NFT was created in May 2014, and has sinced been moved to the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Currently the piece is on auction at a bidding price of $160,000.
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“Quantum” by artist Kevin McCoy has gone up for auction at Sotheby’s in New York

While non-fungible tokens (NFT) are particularly new to the market, digital artist Kevin McCoy created “Quantum” in 2014. The art piece was originally minted on the Namecoin blockchain. And has since been re-created on the Ethereum blockchain. Where it is now up for auction at Sothebys. 

While the NFT is not necessarily considered the first ever NFT, it was created under the premise of operating as digital artwork, before the NFT craze was ever considered. 

McCoy talks about his piece on the Sothebys website, saying that the piece was made out of code, with the art being “the first autonomous artwork that was inscribed into a blockchain.” McCoy attributes his creation of “Quantum” to his interest in Bitcoin.

After finding out about Bitcoin in 2013, McCoy says “I thought about how the scarcity mechanism that bitcoin presented could be a way for digital artists to create provenance and ownership systems around digital works.”

Too early for NFT adoption

McCoy admits that he had the idea around NFTs when he created “Quantum” however people did not fully understand his vision. “It was a pretty abstract idea at the time and no one really understood what I was talking about, but when I finally put the pieces together to do an initial effort with that, Quantum seemed like the perfect piece to do that with.”

Currently the NFT is up for auction on popular auction house Sotheby’s New York. At time of writing, the current auction price was sitting at $160,000. The auction still has over four days left to run, with the reserve price already being reached. 

Auction houses continue to add NFTs to catalogues

The latest listing comes after several high profile NFT auctions with major auction houses. Sotheby’s has previously auctioned off a Banksy NFT. The “Love is in the Air” NFT sold for $12.9 million last month. 

British auction house Chrisites has also been very busy with NFTs. Having recently auctioned off Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” for a record $69.3 million. 

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Ryan James
Ryan Boltman is a dynamic and experienced professional with a rich background in marketing management, business development, and cryptocurrency journalism. With a BCOM in Marketing Management from the University of South Africa and an Honors in Business Management, Ryan has honed his expertise across multiple countries including South Africa, the USA, and the Netherlands. His career includes significant roles in customer success, sales management, and content creation within the blockchain...