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Christie’s moves on-chain with NFT auction platform on Ethereum

The new marketplace allows the prestigious auction house to carry out auctions and sales on the Ethereum blockchain “from start to finish.”

After a series of successful high-priced nonfungible token (NFT) sales, Christie’s has launched its own dedicated NFT "on-chain auction platform," allowing auctions to be carried out fully on-chain on the Ethereum network.

The 256-year-old British auction giant, which is also the second-largest auction house in the world by fine-art auction revenue, said its “Christie’s 3.0” allows for NFT auctions to be conducted entirely on the ETH network “from start to finish.”

“All transactions, including post-sale, will be automatically recorded on the blockchain.”

In its past NFT auctions, the payments from the winning bidder were not always conducted on a blockchain, but the creation of Christie’s marketplace allows transactions to occur in a fashion much like the popular marketplace OpenSea, allowing for payments to be made in Ether (ETH). 

Christie’s said the new marketplace was developed in partnership with NFT smart contract development startup Manifold, metaverse development firm Spatial and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.

The announcement was paired with an inaugural launch of only one project exclusive to the new marketplace by artist Diana Sinclair, featuring just nine NFTs which can be viewed in an online virtual gallery built by Spatial.

Christie’s has seen major success with NFT auctions in the past, such as Beeple’s “Everydays - The First 5000 Days,” which was minted exclusively for the auction house selling for a record $69.3 million in Mar. 2021, becoming one of the most expensive NFTs ever sold.

At the time, the sale of the NFT was conducted in partnership with NFT marketplace MakersPlace.

The firm also facilitated the auction of nine CryptoPunks in May 2021 with the winning bid coming in at almost $17 million.

Related: Beyond the NFT hype: The need for reimagining digital art’s value proposition

Christie’s Web3 interest has moved outside of NFT auctions, in July it launched a venture fund aimed at supporting “art-related financial products and solutions” in Web3 with its initial investment going to LayerZero Labs, a company building decentralized applications compatible with multiple blockchains.

Rival auction house Sotheby’s has taken a similar interest in Web3 and NFTs, launching its own metaverse in Oct. 2021 and having its share of high-priced NFT sales also.

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Leading Auction House Christie’s Launches Web3 and Fintech Venture Arm

Leading Auction House Christie’s Launches Web3 and Fintech Venture ArmOn Monday, Christie’s, the leading British auction house founded 256 years ago in 1766, announced the launch of a new venture fund called Christie’s Ventures. According to the announcement, the company’s venture arm plans to focus on “[Web3] innovation, art-related financial products and solutions, and technologies that enable seamless consumption of art.” Christie’s Ventures to […]

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Christie’s launches venture fund aimed at Web3 and blockchain investments

According to the auction company, its first investment will be in LayerZero Labs, a company developing solutions for enabling omnichain decentralized applications.

Christie's, the auction house known for its sales of art and luxury items, has launched an investment fund to support emerging companies with technology enabling “seamless consumption of art.”

In a Monday announcement, the auction company said the fund, Christie’s Ventures, will financially support firms in Web3, “art related financial products and solutions,” and technology related to art and luxury goods. According to Christie’s, its first investment will be in LayerZero Labs, a company developing solutions for enabling omnichain decentralized applications, allowing a more seamless transfer of assets between blockchains.

“We will focus on products and services which can solve real business challenges, improve client experiences, and expand growth opportunities, both across the art market directly and for interactions with it,” said Christie’s Ventures global head Devang Thakkar.

Related: Christie’s NFT expert to lead CryptoPunks, fake heiress launches NFT collection

The move into blockchain-related investments represented another step for Christie’s to support ventures in the crypto space. In 2021, the company hosted an auction for a piece of nonfungible artwork from Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, raising more than $69 million. Since then, it has held several high-profile sales for NFT artwork and partnered with the OpenSea online marketplace for on-chain auctions.

2022 is shaping up to be a record year for blockchain-related venture funding. As Cointelegraph reported, blockchain- and crypto-focused firms raised $14.8 billion in the first quarter of the year, nearly half of 2021's totals. Although activity has waned due to the bear market, startups with a focus on Web3 and the Metaverse continue to attract significant capital.

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Nifty News: Christie’s NFT expert to lead CryptoPunks, fake heiress launches NFT collection

Noah Davis, the NFT expert for the auction house Christie’s, said he’s not looking to change the plan for CryptoPunks when he leads the project and has invited holders to a one-on-one chat.

Noah Davis, the nonfungible token (NFT) specialist at auction house Christie’s, has said he’s leaving the position in July to take up a post as brand lead for the CryptoPunks NFT collection with Yuga Labs.

Announcing the move on Sunday in a Twitter thread, Davis looked to quash any anxieties holders had regarding the future of one of the oldest NFT projects, saying he “will not f*ck with the punks.”

He invited CryptoPunk owners to schedule a talk with him about the project’s future at the NFT NYC event and said the new position wouldn’t take away from his own NFT project.

Davis is responsible for the record-breaking auction of Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days NFT, which sold for over $69 million in March 2021.

Yuga Labs acquired the intellectual property of the CryptoPunks collection from Larva Labs in March, saying it would turn over full commercial rights to the owners, a promise yet to be realized.

But, Yuga Labs co-founder Wylie Aronow aka Gargamel addressed the holdup in a series of tweets on Sunday, writing it was “too significant to rush” and that new terms “will be rolling out in the next couple of weeks.”

With the announcement of Davis’ move and the new terms set to take effect soon, some are alleging that insiders had prior knowledge of the information, citing the surging sales volume of the collection.

According to OpenSea, 39 sales of the CryptoPunks collection have taken place since the announcement, with 101 sales in total on Sunday, up from the only 19 sold the day prior, on Saturday.

Convicted scammer “reinvents” herself with NFTs

Convicted con-artist and fraudster Anna Sorokin, who from 2013 to 2017 pretended to be the wealthy German heiress “Anna Delvey” to defraud acquaintances and business of over $275,000, has started an NFT collection.

Titled Reinventing Anna, the collection features 2,000 NFTs for 0.1 Ether (ETH) each, or about $110 at the time of writing. It is marketed as a way for “fans to interact with Anna” and access private “ask-me-anything’s” with Sorokin.

Related: NFT trading volume surges amid market and floor price crash

The collection will feature 20 “gold edition cards,” which grant owners the possibility of a one-on-one phone call or in-person visit with the so-called “renowned socialite.”

The collection’s name is a play on the Inventing Anna Netflix drama miniseries released earlier this year, the subject of which is inspired by Sorokin’s story.

“I see this first drop as an opportunity to directly connect with my audience and take charge of the narrative that's been largely outside of my control,” Sorokin wrote in an Instagram post regarding the collection.

It’s unknown how NFT holders will be able to visit her in person, however. Since March 2021, Sorokin has been held by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement for overstaying her visa and faces deportation to Germany.

Duppies followers targeted in phishing scam

Duppies, an upcoming Solana NFT project from the same team as the popular “DeGods” collection, had its Twitter account hacked on Saturday, with attackers tweeting a link to a “stealth mint” of the NFTs.

The link was a phishing website, and users who connected their wallets and attempted to mint had their wallets drained of all funds. One Twitter user wrote they lost 650 Solana (SOL), worth around $18,850, from the attack.

In Twitter Spaces after the attack, the creator of the upcoming collection known as Frank joined security auditor Code Monkey to explain how the attack happened.

The auditor said the attacker likely accessed the Duppies Twitter account in a targeted SIM swap attack.

The attack works by scammers contacting the phone provider of the mobile number holder and trick the carrier into swapping the mobile number to a SIM card in their control. From there, the attacker can bypass any two-factor authentication on the account and gain access.

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Despite warnings from the nation’s authorities, the number of NFT and digital collectible platforms in China has seen a five times increase since February 2022, going from just over 100 to over 500, according to local state-owned media.

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