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Sotheby’s has announced the opening of a pioneering auction dedicated to artworks inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain, known as Ordinals. This marks a significant moment in digital art, showcasing a diverse array of techniques and concepts emerging from digital artists on the Bitcoin blockchain.

The “Natively Digital: An Ordinals Sale” includes 19 lots, featuring notable works such as INSCRIPTION 21 by Shroomtoshi, Antimatter #4: Plasma Square by Nullish, and Brancher by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy. The auction also highlights Claudia Hart’s animated work MORE LIFE, which originally premiered at MoMA PS1 in 2001, and three Rare Satoshis, marking significant milestones in the blockchain’s progression.

This sale follows the successful December auction of BitcoinShrooms: An Ordinals Auction, which exceeded expectations, totaling $450,850, five times the high estimate. Sotheby’s Digital Art Head Michael Bouhanna noted the explosive growth of Ordinals as a new arena for artists and creators.

In addition to this groundbreaking sale, Sotheby’s is also preparing for the first auction from the Starry Night Collection, featuring over 300 works from celebrated digital artists such as XCOPY, Beeple, and Dmitri Cherniak. This collection, curated by Vincent Van Dough for Three Arrows Capital, emphasizes unique one-of-one works and early generative AI artworks.

Sotheby’s digital art results in 2023 totaled more than $35 million, a near 100% increase from 2022, highlighted by the $6.2 million sale of Dmitri Cherniak’s Ringers #879 (The Goose). The upcoming auctions, including the first

-ever curated sale of Bitcoin Ordinals, are expected to further advance Sotheby’s leadership in the digital art space and reflect the evolving intersection of art, technology, and cryptocurrency.

Select highlights from the Natively Digital: An Ordinals Sale, running from January 12-22, include Shroomtoshi’s Inscription 21, estimated at $50,000 – $70,000, and Claudia Hart’s MORE LIFE, with an estimate of $5,000 – $7,000. Also featured are rare Satoshis, each with their own unique history and significance, showcasing the growing collectibility of digital artifacts within the cryptocurrency community.

Sotheby’s latest auction series underscores the expanding boundaries of digital art and the increasing interest in integrating art with blockchain technology. This represents a significant step in the art world’s embrace of digital and crypto cultures, paving the way for new forms of artistic expression and collection.


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