Sotheby’s netted $100 million from NFT sales in 2021: report

The centuries-old art auction house Sotheby’s reported that it earned $100 million from non-fungible token (NFT) sales this year, according to a release shared with The Block.  

The auction house held its first NFT sale from the digital artist Pak between April 12-14, which brought in $16.8 million from 3,000 buyers. Since then, Sotheby’s sold an NFT of the original World Wide Web source code for $5.3 million, a rare CryptoPunk worth $11.8 million, a collection of 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs for $24.4 million, among other notable NFT auctions.

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More than three-quarters (78%) of the NFT bidders were new to Sotheby's and over half were under 40, Sotheby's notes. 

Suffice it to say, the auction house was one of the first historical art institutions to lean into the blockchain-based digital asset explosion of this year — and it paid off. So much so that Sotheby’s launched its own curated NFT platform called Sotheby’s Metaverse in October. 

Barring the 20 auctions left, Sotheby’s earned a total of $6 billion from its 2021 auctions — up 71% from 2020 — and $7.3 billion in year-to-date consolidated sales.

About Author

MK Manoylov has been a reporter for The Block since 2020 — joining just before bitcoin surpassed $20,000 for the first time. Since then, MK has written nearly 1,000 articles for the publication, covering any and all crypto news but with a penchant toward NFT, metaverse, web3 gaming, funding, crime, hack and crypto ecosystem stories. MK holds a graduate degree from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP) and has also covered health topics for WebMD and Insider. You can follow MK on X @MManoylov and on LinkedIn.