Christie's NFT business is booming despite a market lull

Episode 60 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Noah Davis, Associate Vice President & Head of Digital Sales at Christie’s.

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This week, the world's largest auction house cracked $100 million in NFT sales. Christie’s Noah Davis says they’re just getting started.

On this episode of The Scoop, Davis, an associate vice president and head of digital sales at the auction house, joined Frank Chaparro to discuss Christie’s view of the 2021 rise in NFT sales and how the traditional art market and this brave new one are converging and bolstering adoption of a possible blockchain future.

“It's incredible that it continues to gather speed and that interest continues to pour in from new corners of the world,” said Davis, a Specialist in post-war and contemporary art. He highlighted a recent uptick in interest in NFT sales with buyers in Asia.

"Like that traditional art market that I talked about they’re starting to line up on the sidelines if not dive in," he added. 

Still, that is running up against what could be described as a lull in the NFT market. As per data from The Block, weekly NFT transactions have fallen from highs near 2 million to 315,000 last week. 

Davis even observed an inverse correlation to NFTs and Ethereum’s price movements. “A lot of people will panic, sell their NFT’s when ETH is mooning and then they collect when ETH is kind of in a lull," he remarked.

NFT sales are just the first taste for auction houses like Christie's to possibly one day also move onto the blockchain, which Davis believes could have specific applications for the company. “It would solve for authenticity testing, keeping track of exhibition history, literature references, title disputes, restoration, you name it.” Said Davis, “As far as financials are concerned and deals are concerned, it just is such a better, more democratic way to do business.”

Christie’s recently announced that on October 1st they will auction off an NFT set of CurioCards that it is putting up in what will be the world’s first major auction with live bids taken in the form of ETH. Christie's has planned more such NFT auctions in the coming months.

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