- Sotheby’s has launched a portal on its Sotheby’s Metaverse platform that supports secondary NFT artwork sales, where transactions are conducted peer-to-peer and fully on-chain.
- The Metaverse platform supports NFT artwork minted on Ethereum and scaling network Polygon, which are the “networks of choice for NFT creators and collectors.”
- Sotheby’s marketplace offerings consist of a rotating, curated selection of leading artists and are facilitated entirely through automated smart contracts, allowing transactions to be executed quickly, efficiently, and securely.
Sotheby’s, the storied auction house that has been embracing Web3 for years, has taken a step forward in its digital art endeavors by launching a portal on its Sotheby’s Metaverse platform where secondary NFT artwork sales are conducted peer-to-peer and fully on-chain. The Metaverse platform, which initially went live in October 2021, now supports NFT artwork minted on Ethereum and scaling network Polygon. These are the “networks of choice for NFT creators and collectors,” according to a statement by Sotheby’s.
The next evolution of #SothebysMetaverse is here! The most trusted and dynamic destination to collect, buy and sell remarkable digital works.— Sotheby's Metaverse (@Sothebysverse) May 1, 2023
Explore: https://t.co/hZvYIkO3xx pic.twitter.com/dCkaCKlXVm
The secondary sales on Sotheby’s Metaverse are facilitated entirely through automated smart contracts, allowing collectors to pay for art and collectibles in Ethereum (ETH) or MATIC, the token native to Polygon, using their own self-hosted digital wallets. This means that transactions are executed quickly, efficiently, and securely. The addition of automated smart contracts and the support for Polygon brings the marketplace up to speed with the latest developments in the NFT space, making it a compelling destination for buyers and sellers alike.
What sets Sotheby’s apart from other peer-to-peer NFT marketplaces is the fact that its offerings will consist of a “rotating, curated selection of leading artists” that are handpicked by specialists at Sotheby’s. For its initial wave of artists, collectors can list and make offers on NFTs from 13 creators that the auction house has deemed as leaders in the digital art world, including Claire Silver, Sam Spratt, Tyler Hobbs, and the pseudonymous XCOPY. Sotheby’s said its selection of artists for the secondary marketplace will change every few months, so there will always be something new and exciting for buyers to explore.
The Metaverse platform is powered by Mojito, an NFT tech and commerce suite developed by Serotonin, a Web3 marketing firm and venture studio. Sotheby’s said it became an early investor in Mojito in 2021. The venue dedicated to secondary sales is designed in a manner that honors secondary on-chain royalty fees specified by artists. A creator royalty is a fee taken from any secondary sales, typically 5% to 10% of the sale price, that is automatically sent to the artist’s wallet.
Sotheby’s acknowledged that its decision comes amid a broader discussion about resale royalties in relation to NFTs. NFTs are unique digital tokens that represent the ownership of an item, often digital art. In terms of tracking their history of ownership, the notion that blockchain transactions are recorded on public ledgers naturally lends itself to provenance. The fact that Sotheby’s is embracing the technology and the concept of provenance is a sign that NFTs are not a passing fad, but a new and important asset class that is here to stay.
Sotheby’s Vice President and Head of NFTs and Digital Art Michael Bouhanna described the measure in a release as an “important step forward” for the auction house, which has been around since 1744, as it continues to evolve within the Web3 space. The venue dedicated to secondary sales is designed to offer collectors a seamless and secure way to buy and sell NFTs. With support for Ethereum and Polygon, it is well-positioned to become a major player in the NFT space.
While Sotheby’s is not the first auction house to enter the NFT space, it is arguably the most prestigious. The fact that it is now offering a marketplace for secondary NFT sales is a sign that the market for digital art is maturing and that there is demand for high-end NFTs. The fact that the marketplace is fully on-chain and powered by smart contracts is a sign that Sotheby’s is serious about embracing the latest developments in the NFT Space.