Crypto payments firm MoonPay emerged as the top bidder for a coveted non-fungible token (NFT) at Christie's on Tuesday — while acting on behalf of a mystery buyer.
The startup splashed £567,000 ($754,340) at the London Evening Sale at Christie's auction house for a rare item in the World of Women (WoW) collection.
The price paid by MoonPay — which a source close to the situation confirmed as the buyer — makes #5672 one of the most expensive WoW pieces ever sold.
WoW #5672 just sold for 567,000 GBP at @ChristiesInc London Evening Sale! 🤩— World of Women (@worldofwomennft) March 1, 2022
Thanks to everyone 🤵♀️ who witnessed this historical moment with us 😉 and welcome to the WoW fam to our new buyer! 💜 pic.twitter.com/sO6WPjzyAa
The piece sports rare traits such as a night goddess skin tone and a tuxedo. It was sold among lots by world-renowned artists such as Keith Haring, Pablo Picasso and David Hockney.
Moonpay's main business provides infrastructure that enables web and mobile developers to let their users purchase virtual currencies using credit cards.
But it also launched a concierge service late last year, previously described as a “white glove service for high net worth individuals who want to purchase NFTs in the simplest way without all the hassle of setting up a wallet, buying crypto, using that crypto to purchase an NFT and then taking custody of it.”
MoonPay purchases NFTs and later invoices its clients for them and any other services rendered. This sale appears to be the latest play by that service, which usually buys items through OpenSea. It is not clear, as yet, who MoonPay purchased the WoW item on behalf of.
British auction house Christie's has form for working with NFT sales, and accepts payment in ether or bitcoin, although only through UK Financial Conduct Authority approved firms.