NFT platform Art Blocks breaks record with $5.8 million sale

Quick Take

  • The sale makes Ringers #879 the most expensive Art Blocks piece on the market.
  • The buyer is Singapore-based investment firm Three Arrows Capital, which adds to a growing collection of Art Blocks NFTs.

The sale of a piece of non-fungible token (NFT) art for around $5.8 million has become the most expensive deal in the history of Art Blocks, a popular platform for generative artists.

Ringers #879, created by the artist Dmitri Cherniak and minted on Art Blocks seven months ago, has been purchased via a secondary market transaction on OpenSea for 1800 ETH(roughly $5.8 million at current prices).

The buyer was Three Arrows Capital, a cryptocurrency investment firm. The Singapore-based company has amassed a considerable stash of Art Blocks NFTs this year, including no less than ten items from generative artist Tyler Hobbs’s ‘Fidenza’ collection – for which it paid up to 320 ether (just over $1 million) apiece. But this latest purchase is by some way the most Three Arrows Capital has splashed on an NFT.

“We believe we are at the forefront of a multi-decade generative art movement, being ushered in by Art Blocks, and we think the best way to gain exposure to this trend is by collecting the defining pieces from the highest regarded sets such as Ringers, Fidenzas, Archetypes, and Subscapes,” said Zhu Su, CEO of Three Arrows Capital. 

Shortly after the purchase, Cherniak tweeted: ‘Good day at the JPEG factory.’

The deal is the largest sum spent on an Art Blocks piece to date, the previous record standing at 1000 ether (or around $2.6 million). It is also more than three times the last highest sale price – 500 ether (or $1.6 million) – of a single piece in the Ringers collection.

Resurgent NFTs

The transaction comes amid a resurgent market for NFTs. Interest in the digital collectibles market had waned after a short-lived boom early in 2021 but has rebounded to hit all-time highs in trading volume and activity over the summer, as shown by The Block’s data dashboard.

Art Blocks has been taking full advantage, currently sitting above all other collections in seven-day trading volume, according to data collected by CoinMarketCap. CEO Erick Calderon has recently moved to introduce measures to slow down the pace at which speculators are snapping up art from the platform.

“Now every time we release something it feels like this drop because it just sells out instantly,” he said in a recent interview. “That’s not the goal. It’s a little crazy.”

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