Right after receiving his $53 million cut from the historic Christie’s auction which realized $69 million, crypto artist Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann converted the amount from Ethereum to fiat straightaway.
In an interview with The New Yorker, Beeple said that as soon as he received his stash in ETH, he became concerned regarding Ethereum’s volatility, hence the immediate move to convert everything to US dollars.
“Boom, 53 million dollars in my account. Like, what the f***,” Beeple exclaimed, recounting his experience of rushing to Miami to receive the cash. “I’m not remotely a crypto-purist. I was making digital art long before any of this s***, and if all this f***ing NFT stuff went away tomorrow I would still be making digital art,” the artist said.
British auction house Christie's sold Beeple’s "EVERYDAYS: The First 5000 Days" for well over US$69 million, thus cementing the artist’s position as the world's top-selling crypto artist. The work was sold to NFT collector Metakovan, who was later revealed to be Vignesh Sundaresan, CEO of Portkey Technologies, and IT consulting firm. Sundaresan is also the founder of Bitaccess, and ATM tech provider whose first product was sold to Ethereum co-founder Anthony Di Iorio.
The digital artist began being interested in NFTs in October of 2020, after seeking advice from his friends. His first sale was made in the same month, when he dropped “Politics is Bull***” on Nifty Gateway, an NFT marketplace. The artist himself, who made the work well over a decade and later sold it as an NFT collectible, however, does not seem too enthusiastic about the future of non-fungible tokens.
“I absolutely think it’s a bubble, to be quite honest," Beeple said on a FoxNewsSunday interview with Chris Wallace, comparing the NFT craze to the early days of the Internet boom in the mid-90s. "There was a bubble. And the bubble burst. And it wiped out a lot of c***—but it didn’t wipe out the Internet. And so the technology itself is strong enough where I think it’s going to outlive that.”
Beeple never saw himself as an artist, to his mind, he was more of “a designer experimenting between corporate gigs” as he described it. “I feel like people have ruined it by being pretentious d*****-lords,” he said. From his move to encash all his crypto earnings to putting down a pessimistic attitude towards the industry surrounding the tech, it seems that Beeple does embody what a “crypto” artist could be: bullish on the message, bearish on the medium.
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