Christie’s has launched a new NFT platform called Christie’s 3.0, where buyers will be able to directly connect their wallets and bid on NFTs. In that way, it will function like NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea.
Sotheby’s, a competitor to Christie’s, also has an NFT marketplace, but it so far has largely delivered mixed results.
“We don’t see Christie’s 3.0 replacing out placement of very high caliber NFTs in traditional evening sales or anything like that,” Nicole Sales Giles, Christie’s director of digital art sales, told ARTnews.
This past July, she replaced Noah Davis when he left for Yuga Labs, the parent company of Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks. Giles had been with Christie’s contemporary art department for ten years and began working on NFTs after Christie’s famous Beeple sale in 2021.
“This is a platform for us to more rapidly scale our digital art offerings and do more frequent emerging artists auctions and work with a more diverse array of artists and collectors,” she said.
The inaugural auction held by Christie’s 3.0 will feature the works of Diana Sinclair, an 18-year old artist who was also recently signed to the United Talent Agency. Sinclair’s short video works are estimated at 6–8 ETH, or around $7,990–$10,650.
UTA also signed NFT influencer Andrew Wang, NFT artist Vinnie Hager, and many others just this past August, a surprising vote of confidence given the state of the market.
Following the onset of a crypto winter during the first two quarters of 2022, the NFT space has been quiet, but according to Giles, the timing isn’t all that bad. She said that Christie’s decided to launch Christie’s 3.0 now because of the Merge, which made transacting on Ethereum much more eco-friendly, a big draw for those who might’ve held back on collecting due to the environmental impact of Ethereum. So far, the Merge has had a minimal effect on Ethereum’s value, despite hopes that it would mark a turning point in the crypto winter.