Sotheby’s sets the stage for NFT at MWC
The head of acclaimed luxury auction house Sotheby’s told Mobile World Live an accelerating convergence of the physical and digital worlds is creating new opportunities for the 277 year-old company.
CEO Charles Stewart cited the opportunity to auction non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a blockchain-based technology some digital artists use to assure buyers they are getting the original work.
Sotheby’s held its first NFT auction in April 2021 and also invested in specialist platform start-up Mojito.
Stewart noted 80 per cent of all bidders in its NFT auctions were new to Sotheby’s. “You’re seeing a younger and new audience…incredibly large and engaged”.
The executive views MWC22 Barcelona as the logical venue to teach and learn about NFT and digital art auctions, which he said have become much more sophisticated and profitable because of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
He explained NFT auctions are part of a larger shift through which blockchain and a less centralised internet could impact all businesses. “What better place to discuss that than Barcelona”.