On Monday, luxury auction house Sotheby’s launched a portal on its Sotheby’s Metaverse platform that allows peer-to-peer secondary sales of NFT artwork, with all transactions being fully on-chain.
Initially launched in October 2021, Sotheby’s Metaverse was updated to include support for NFT artwork minted on the Ethereum and the scaling network Polygon. Sotheby’s said in a press release that these two networks are the preferred choices for NFT creators and collectors.
The New York City-based firm described that secondary sales conducted on its Metaverse platform are fully automated through smart contracts. This platform allows collectors to use their self-hosted digital wallets to purchase art and collectibles using $ETH or the native token of Polygon $MATIC.
Sotheby’s Metaverse is powered by Mojito, an NFT tech and commerce suite created by venture studio and Web3 marketing company Serotonin. Speaking to NFTnow, Sebastian Fahey, the managing director for EMEA and executive Lead for Metaverse at Sotheby’s, explained that the primary goal of launching Sotheby’s Metaverse over a year ago was to create a unique platform for selling NFTs.
Fahey maintained that the platform constantly improves to “offer new and more seamless ways for the community to discover and collect new forms of digital collectibles.”
Sotheby’s secondary market
Sotheby’s vice president and head of digital art & NFTs Michael Bouhanna described the launch of the secondary marketplace as a significant step for the 277-year-old auction house. Bouhanna explained that the move represents the company’s continued evolution and growth in Web3.
The company claimed that Sotheby’s platform is distinctive in its offerings from prominent peer-to-peer NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea and Blur. The platform will have a curated and rotating selection of renowned artists personally selected by specialists at Sotheby’s.
Sotheby’s will rotate the selection every few months. The auction house’s initial selection will include 13 leading digital artists, including Tyler Hobbs, Claire Silver, Sam Spratt and XCOPY.
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The fine arts firm also has chosen Diana Sinclair, Sarah Zucker, IX Shells, Refik Anadol, Pindar van Arman, Sofia Crespo, Hackatao Osinachi and Sebastião Salgado to be part of the selection. During this time, collectors can list and negotiate offers on NFTs from these artists.
The secondary marketplace is designed to uphold the secondary on-chain royalty fees established by artists. When an artist’s work is resold, a creator royalty fee is charged, usually between five and ten percent of the sale price, and automatically transferred to the artist’s wallet. Sotheby’s recognizes that its decision to implement this policy is part of a larger conversation regarding resale royalties in the realm of NFTs.
Sotheby’s digital world presence
Sotheby’s has established a significant presence in the world of NFTs. It facilitated some of the most noteworthy NFT sales, such as Pak’s $17 million auction in April 2021 and the inaugural Natively Digital event in June of that year.
The auction of Quantum, the very first NFT ever created by New York-based married couple artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, for over $1 million was a highlight of Natively Digital.
In June this year, Sotheby’s aims to launch a new digital art gallery that will showcase a curated selection of works from the secondary market through the Web3 art gallery platform OnCyber. Sotheby’s Metaverse will be partnering with digital art collector Cozomo de’ Medici, who will curate a room in the gallery to feature a selection of renowned works from its collection.