On December 6, 279-year-old auction house Sotheby's announced an auction featuring three NFTs on Bitcoin from the BitcoinShrooms collection by artist Shroomtoshi. The auction runs online from December 6 to 13. This is the first time Sotheby's has auctioned NFTs on Bitcoin, but far from the first time with NFTs in general.
What is Bitcoin Ordinals
The Ordinals project, which have gained popularity since January 2023, specialises in NFTs on Bitcoin. It enables the embedding of images and different types of data on the Bitcoin blockchain. These "inscriptions", known as "digital artifacts", store raw data directly on the network.
In July, Ethereum's creator, Vitalik Buterin, respected this innovation.
BitcoinShrooms collection: a pixelated recap of the first 13 years of Bitcoin
The BitcoinShrooms collection, created by the artist under the pseudonym Shroomtoshi, consists of 210 pixel art pieces that refer to Bitcoin, its history, and memes. The author himself describes the collection as "a pixelated recap of the first 13 years of Bitcoin".
As noted by Michael Bouhanna, Head of Digital Art & Contemporary Art Specialist at Sotheby's auction house, "Shroomtoshi operates in subtle mystery in the vein of Satoshi Nakamoto's mystique, aiming to educate and inspire appreciation for the cultural and technological revolution of Bitcoin".
On December 6, Sotheby's announced the auction of three NFTs from this collection.
Sotheby's BitcoinShrooms auction details
The online auction, running from December 6 to 13, features three BitcoinShrooms NFTs. Each of the pictures has its own name and description on the auction site.
🍄 S is a mushroom with a letter "s" on its head. The “S” stands for Self-Sovereignty. As stated in the description, "since we’ve recently passed the 40 million inscription mark, it can be said that the S shroom is probably rarer than one in a million".
👑 Sovereign Individual is a mushroom with a crown. Its name refers to a book by William Rees-Mogg published in 1997. One of the main themes is the autonomy and independence of the individual from the state. Among other things, it mentions the idea of a "digital form of money" which resonated with Bitcoiners.
🥑 BIP39 Seed is an avocado seed. This is a reference to Bitcoin Improvement Proposal number 39, which describes a standard for forming seed phrases of 12 or 24 words that allow access to a Bitcoin address.
The current bids are $42,000, $50,000, and $28,000, respectively.
This is neither the largest nor the first auction of NFTs in Sotheby's history, but this event marks the inaugural presentation of NFTs on the Bitcoin platform. Sotheby's move holds promise for the mainstream acceptance of NFTs on Bitcoin, with Ordinals poised to become a significant player within a year.
Sotheby's is one of the world's oldest auction houses, which was founded in London in 1744. Presently headquartered in New York, it operates in over 40 countries and is a leading broker of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, and collectibles. Read more about it here.
Recently, Sotheby's has embraced the acceptance of cryptocurrency bids and has been regularly hosting auctions of different NFTs. For example, in September 2021, a set of 101 NFTs from the most popular Bored Ape Yacht Club collection was sold for $24.3 million.
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