Sotheby’s Bitcoin NFT Auction Surpasses Estimates, Fetches $450K

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Bitcoin NFT Hysteria Hits Sotheby’s: Super Mario-like Mushroom Character Fetches $200,000

The first auction of so-called “NFTs on Bitcoin” by the renowned auction house Sotheby’s has caused a stir. The auction sold three pixelated images from a mushroom-themed collection, fetching about $450,000 – about five times more than the highest estimates.

The Auction in Detail

The auction consisted of three images, including a pixelated avocado character, which sold for over $100,000, and a design resembling a mushroom from the Super Mario series, which sold for over $240,000. In total, there were 148 bids for the three lots, and more than two-thirds of all bidders were new customers at Sotheby’s.

The Significance of NFTs

The results recall the mania that gripped the digital asset markets a few years ago, when digital art and non-fungible tokens, or “NFTs”, began to attract astonishing sums and draw public attention. An NFT by the artist Beeple, for example, fetched $69 million at a Christie’s auction. However, many of these collections were created on the Ethereum blockchain.

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The Role of Bitcoin

The so-called Ordinals entries, created on the Bitcoin blockchain, have gained enough popularity this year to cause congestion and high fees on the network. There is intense debate among Bitcoin users and developers about the possibility of filtering transactions into “entries” of the NFT type, which were minted with the Ordinals project, as they are not seen as a core financial use in the view of many advocates of the original blockchain.

The Art Behind the NFTs

The three digital images come from the BitcoinShrooms collection of Ordinals entries by the pseudonymous artist Shroomtoshi, as stated on the Sotheby’s website. The digital avocado character, known as “BIP39 SEED”, was originally estimated to be worth between $20,000 and $30,000, but ultimately sold for $101,600.

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