On May 1, the company announced an addition to Sotheby’s Metaverse in the form of a “dynamic destination to collect, buy, and sell remarkable digital works.”
The blockchain-based NFT marketplace will be primarily for secondary sales of digital art. According to the announcement, the marketplace will feature a rotating, curated selection of leading artists hand-picked by Sotheby’s specialists.
They will provide “expert guidance and context for each work, from thematic presentations to artist spotlights, for an easy-to-navigate experience designed for discovery.”
The next evolution of #SothebysMetaverse is here! The most trusted and dynamic destination to collect, buy and sell remarkable digital works.
Explore: https://t.co/hZvYIkO3xx pic.twitter.com/dCkaCKlXVm
— Sotheby’s Metaverse (@Sothebysverse) May 1, 2023
Sotheby’s launched the Metaverse platform in 2021 for its art auctions but has now expanded it to handle resales. It supports NFTs minted on Ethereum and layer-2 scaling network Polygon.
Automated smart contracts will govern the secondary sales process allowing buyers and sellers to send and receive payments in ETH or MATIC, the Polygon native token. It stated that there is a 2.5% fee for sellers.
The Sotheby’s marketplace will be a little more exclusive than industry leader OpenSea as only its experts will select the artwork. The featured artists will be changed every few months, it noted, adding that the initial selection will include renowned digital artists such as Tyler Hobbs, Claire Silver, Hackatao, Sam Spratt, and Refik Anadol.
The platform is powered by NFT commerce suite Mojito developed by Web3 venture studio Serotonin. Sotheby’s joined the $20 million investment round for Mojito in November 2021.
Sotheby’s Vice President and Head of NFTs and Digital Art, Michael Bouhanna, said the move was an important step forward for the auction house in its evolution within the Web3 space.
In January, the auction house said it would accept crypto in an auction for a rare black diamond.
NFT markets have declined this year, with trading volumes and prices plummeting. As reported by CryptoPotato, just six of the top 20 NFT collections by market capitalization recorded increased trading volumes over the past month.
Furthermore, the Nonfungible market tracker reports that the number of daily sales has plunged from around 40,000 in October to roughly 5,000 in mid-April. However, the platform has stopped recording NFT metrics since the middle of last month.
Additionally, Cryptoslam reported that there have been more sellers than buyers over the past couple of weeks.
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