Classics: NFT and metackers: The Sotheby's auction house goes on digital

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Charles Stewart, le patron de Sotheby's, au Mobile World Congress de Barcelone. © Josep Lago / AFP Charles Stewart, the boss of Sotheby's, the Mobile World Congress of Barcelona.

An auction house founded in 1744 starting in NFTs and metackers? A logical sequence in Sotheby's history, with regard to the audience and interest "absolutely huge" for these digital objects, according to his boss Charles Stewart.

"The reason why Sotheby's exists for 277 years is that we have a story that embraces innovation. It's no different for NFTs," he explains during an interview with AFP, Directed on the sidelines of the World Mobile Fair of Barcelona.

NFTs are unique certified digital objects, thanks to the technology of the "blockchain" (block chain), also used for cryptomonnails such as bitcoin.

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"The hearing and interest are absolutely huge. We see a new generation, younger, (...) who is interested in this new form of art. That's why we spend time and resources "To NFT, says the boss of the house based in New York, redeemed in 2019 by the Franco-Israeli Telecom Magnat Patrick Drahi.

The NFTs made a remarkable entry in the art market in 2021, like the computer program at the origin of the Web, sold $ 5.4 million last July at Sotheby's.

The use of the "blockchain", a huge public register, rendered the theoretically inviolable NFT. What to reassure collectors against the risk of copying.

After a year 2020 marked by the pandemic, Sotheby's reached in 2021 the highest sales figure in its history, at $ 7.3 billion, thanks to a new public and Asian buyers.

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In this assessment, the share of NFT remains modest (100 million), but the auction house advances its pawns in digital. Sign of its strong interest, it launched its dedicated platform called "Sotheby's Metaversese", named the virtual universe announced as the next Internet age.

- New buyer profiles -

Beyond a new source of income or the conquest of a broader audience, the interest of immersing in the world of cryptoactive lies also in mutual enrichment between The old and new worlds of art, esteem Charles Stewart.

"The world of traditional art hears a lot about NFT. Many do not understand it. Some have adopted it. But there is a curiosity," said former Chief Financial Officer of Altice USA.

"The same thing is true in the other direction. (For) many young investors in technologies - especially entrepreneurs -, NFTs have been a gateway to the wide sense of art," adds- he.

Symbol of the new collection of collectors, "the nose" of Alberto Giacometti was bought $ 78.4 million by the founder of the Tron cryptomonator platform, the Sino-American entrepreneur Justin Sun, 31 years old.

The NFT market, in the art but also in other sectors of culture such as video games, flew in 2021 with exchanges representing $ 44.2 billion in the world, according to cabinet data. CHALINEYSIS.

"It's only a year ago that NFT burst into our collective consciousness, and we attended an explosion of interest since then," says Charles Stewart.

"that prices increase or fall, if the interest is there, if the commitment is there, if the new creators connect with the public thanks to NFTs and cryptomonnies, it is an important trend in which we will invest. ", Complete.

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