Christie’s Auction House continued to expand into digital art and launched its own venture capital firm on July 18th. Called Christie’s Ventures, it funds emerging and financial technology companies involved in the arts market. press release From the auction house. The company has already invested in Layer Zero Labs, a startup focused on facilitating the transfer of assets between blockchains.
The announcement comes when both Christie’s and its rival Sotheby’s reported high sales in the first half of this year.Christie’s sold out This year it was $ 4.1 billion, up 17% from the same period last year, but Sotheby’s amount of sales It shows a 37% increase of $ 746 million.
While Christie’s overall sales were impressive, non-fungible token (NFT) sales declined, compared to $ 93.2 million in the first half of 2021 and $ 5 million in the first half of this year. Recently lost an NFT expert Noah Davis left Christie’s in June after announcing the arrival of the NFT boom in the art world and leading the historic sale of $ 69 million NFTs by artist Beeple.
“What has happened in the last three to four months is normalization. Last year there was a lot of speculation and prices soared,” said Devantucker, global head of Christie’s Ventures, in an interview with an observer. rice field. “The fog has risen and people are now able to focus on the right technology for this space. It’s not who makes the fastest money.”
This announcement will be made after the NFT market is sluggish.
According to Thakkar, Christie’s Ventures focuses primarily on technologies that improve the consumption of art, financial innovation, and Web3 enterprises. Web3 is an internet vision that incorporates a database that stores cryptocurrencies and blockchains, cryptocurrencies and records of other transactions.
“In each of these three areas, we can work with pioneering entrepreneurs,” Tucker said. “Some of these pioneers are also collectors, so I definitely want to get involved with them.”
Christie’s has been involved in NFTs since 2018, Thakkar said, when the auction house hosted its first Art + Tech Summit, a conference focused on digital art technology. “We continue to be optimistic and positive about the trajectory of digital art and NFTs,” he said.
But not everyone is so enthusiastic. According to John Ippolito, a professor of new media at the University of Maine, the hits that cryptocurrencies have received in recent months have disillusioned the world of art. He believes that when the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies is no longer beneficial, the incentives for money to flow into the NFT ecosystem will be exhausted. “Some people used art to verify the cryptocurrencies they own,” Ippolito said. “I don’t think NFTs will definitely go away, but this is low morale.”
The recession has withdrawn companies from blockchain investment, Ipporito said, adding that Christie’s Ventures was launched at a strategic time. “They make a lot of money in (NFT) and those who are true believers need to stick to this program.”