Beeple $69m Auction Smashes Records Again – What Really Happened at Christie’s

We’ve all heard the news: Beeple’s work EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS sold for a staggering $69,346,250.

But before we get into the juicy details of the bidding war for Beeple’s piece, let’s acknowledge the fact that even though Beeple is an extremely talented and dedicated artist, a few months ago he was not exactly a millionaire and was a complete newbie to the NFT space. Today, he has become the third most valuable living artist according to Christie’s auction house. Christie’s reported that a total of 22 million people tuned in to watch the final moments of this historic sale. 

Now, for the interesting part. The highest bid stayed at around $14 million right up to the last few minutes, when all of a sudden, the bidding war started.The moments leading up to the end of the auction were full of suspense. TRON founder, Justin Sun, was really hoping to get this piece. Justin and the mystery buyer were in serious battle in the last one minute of the auction.

In the grand finale of the show, the bids kept coming in every few minutes by a few million extra, until in a matter of seconds the price jumped from approximately $20 million, to $22 million, then to $50 million and $60 million, and finally to $69,346,250. 

Many people thought the auction ended at $60 million due to a glitch on Christie’s site, and the tweets went viral announcing that the piece was sold already. This added to the excitement as people refreshed their pages to see the action had not ended there.

Justin Sun has released a twelve-part thread on Twitter (including his letter to Christie’s and the reply from Christie’s) about the fact that he actually bid $70 million in the last few seconds, but the system didn’t accept his offer. Read the details here of Justin’s experience (and the comment section for extra entertainment). He has also included recorded live videos of his offer being outbid and his reaction.

Will the winning buyer reveal themselves? Let’s hope so, everyone is itching with curiosity. 

So what happens next? Well, Beeple has expressed that he would like to work with the buyer on innovative ways to exhibit the piece, such as displaying the work on a personal TV screen or projected onto “the side of a fucking building” at Art Basel.

It will be interesting to see how things unfold from here onwards. Many are very critical of digital art selling for this much, calling it “just a JPEG file,” and many are enthusiastic about this revolutionary moment for art. What we know for certain is that this tremendous sale has made a monumental mark on the institutional art world and NFTs.

Image source: Beeple (adapted)

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