It took a few minutes for Vignesh Sundaresan and Anand Venkateswaran to realize that they had parted with $ 69.3 million in digital art work stored in a JPEG file, understandably defending their place in the history of art.
“We were not sure if we had won,” said Venkateswaran, describing the final moments of momentum at an online auction of 5,000 photo frames by an artist known as Beeple. We’ve been refreshing the page. ”
The March 11 auction held at Christie’s in London soon made Beeple’s masterpiece one of the most expensive pieces ever sold by live artists, joined by David Hockney’s famous swimming pool painting and the iconic stainless steel rabbit sculpture by Jeff Koons.
Venkateswaran said he and his friend and business partner, Sundaresan, both in their 30s, would still agree to their historic purchase. They are also forced to address external concerns that the transaction may be an integrated plan to include the investment portfolio of the two.
That’s because Venkateswaran and Sundaresan have invested heavily in a new form of digital collection with the unparalleled name of invisible tokens, or NFTs. Depending on the blockchain technology known as blockchain, these digital devices serve as special certificates of authenticity, making it easy to convert hard-copy digital copies into separate collections – sometimes costing tens of millions of dollars.
Beeple Sales broke the most expensive NFT record ever sold and sparked a global debate about NFTs, their value and whether they are a lasting addition to the digital world. But the eye-catching money involved has drawn international news headlines and speculation that it may have been made for advertising that draws a lot of attention to the NFTs, which could increase the couple’s existing assets.
The involvement of Christie’s house, auction over the centuries, should be enough to reassure believers, Venkateswaran said in a telephone call from his home in southern India.
Certainly the same is true of Beeple, which in real life is a digital artist named Mike Winkelmann. He said that the whole NFT thing was not something I saw coming, at all. During the auction, the singer was in his living room near Charleston, South Carolina, surrounded by family and video staff, and he said it sounded like a “bomb exploded ” as the bids got up quickly. Another bidder and cryptocurrency trader, Justin Sun, lost in the final seconds after bids exceeded his pre-set rate.
The NFT market was already in operation, and also in the last year the transactions doubled to $ 250 million, according to a report by NonFungible.com, a website that tracks that market. Beeple sale sold that growth and helped transofrm NFTs from niche tokens especially attracting cryptocurrency nerds to a new type of digital asset that is attracting general attention from the world of art, music industry, sports and speculators.
Not to be outdone, Sotheby House Contest is planning its NFT sale, working with fake digital artist Pak on sale next month.
Winkelmann first saw the NFTs ’opportunities for digital artists back in October when he tested the water with the first“ drop ”of his career.
It was after another sale late last year that he reached out to one of the missing businessmen, Sundaresan, who uses the pseudonym Metakovan.
The art world was not the norm for Sundaresan and Venkateswaran to talk when they first met in 2013 working at The Hindu, a daily newspaper in Chennai, India. Sundaresan has been the technology coordinator for 20 items; Venkateswaran was a journalist.
Both were raised with humility. Sundaresan was unable to buy a laptop while learning to code, so he was traveling on a flash drive and borrowing laptops from his friends, Venkateswaran said.
But by 2020, Sundaresan, now living in Singapore, had become rich through a series of cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency investments. With the money of Sundaresan and Venkateswaran’s analytical eye, they began testing the NFTs with a new fund called Metapurse.
Sundaresan, who was declined to be interviewed this week, created Persona Metakovan as an indicator of his love for the visible world known as the “metaverse.” The name means “King of Meta” in the Tamil language. Venkateswaran, who lives in Chennai , he lives with his wife and along with two children, calls himself Twobadour. In a blog post last week the two revealed their true identity and wanted to end one of the mysteries with their motives.
“The point was to show Indians and people of color that they too could be masters, that crypto was an equal force between the West and the Rest, and that the southern hemisphere was growing,” they wrote.
It was December when the Metapurse couple made their first major Beeple investment, bought his $ 2.2 million works and gave the artist 2% of their new NFT token fund, called the B20s, designed to allow large groups of people to share ownership of the piece of art.
That was a prelude to the historic March sale of Beeple’s Everyday: First 5000 Days, a digital file covering the activities Beeple performed each day from May 2007 to the beginning of this year. Many of them are horrible and the cartoon captures the events of U.S. politics or pop culture. The works also follow Beeple’s rise from the lesser-known artist to the online personality with a huge Instagram following and multimedia projects with pop stars like that of Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber.