Sotheby’s, the world’s oldest fine art auction house, recently declared its intention to conduct an auction featuring Bitcoin-based Ordinal inscriptions, marking a first in the auction house’s history. This online event is set to commence in December at Sotheby’s New York, where an exclusive selection of “Bitcoinshrooms” from the Shroomtoshi’s Ordinals collection will be on display.
Sotheby’s Unveils Bitcoinshrooms Ordinals Auction
Michael Bouhanna, the lead for digital and contemporary art at Sotheby’s, revealed the auction house’s strategy to offer non-fungible token (NFT) assets that are created on the Bitcoin blockchain. These NFTs originate from the “Bitcoinshrooms” Ordinals collection, which showcases an 8-bit artistic style. This unique collection is the brainchild of the digital artist Shroomtoshi.
Set to conclude in New York on December 13, 2023, at noon (EST), the Sotheby’s Bitcoinshrooms auction is currently underway. As of now, all lots have attracted bids, with some even surpassing their anticipated prices. Additionally, bidders can purchase the Bitcoinshrooms NFTs using cryptocurrency, should they choose to do so.
“I am so excited to present Bitcoinshrooms, the first Ordinal sale at Sothebysverse, and we couldn’t start with a better project,” Bouhanna said on the social media platform X. “This is the first time works from the very anticipated collection will be available to the public.”
The trio of lots features 8-bit style Ordinals, including one depicting a mushroom emblazoned with an “S” symbolizing “Self-Sovereignty,” and another mushroom adorned with a crown, representing the “Sovereign Individual.” The final lot presents an 8-bit rendition of a BIP39 seed, which also echoes the theme of sovereignty. Sotheby’s estimates place the value of each Ordinal from the Bitcoinshrooms collection between $20,000 and $30,000.
Recently, Ordinal inscriptions have sparked significant interest, and for some, they are a topic of debate. As of this writing, over 46.5 million Ordinal inscriptions have been permanently embedded into the Bitcoin blockchain. Since their introduction in December 2022, bitcoin miners have garnered a total of 3,388 BTC from this Ordinals inscription phenomenon. Shroomtoshi considers this collection as a vivid pictorial summary of Bitcoin’s 13-year evolution.
“The Bitcoinshrooms collection is a pixelated recap of the first 13 years of Bitcoin, a homage to the 8-bit style of art that expresses a slight nostalgia for the 90s, a way to soil 10s of thousands of SSDs spread across the world with my art (->next level cyber-vandalism), a tool to raise awareness about Bitcoin and what I personally view as its core principles, an ironic way to vent at what I see as its annoying pop elements and aberrations,” the artist said in a statement.
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