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2 NFT specialists at Sotheby's break down how the auction house values the digital works, sources artists to feature, and generates buying interest from traditional art lovers

2 NFT specialists at Sotheby's break down how the auction house values the digital works, sources artists to feature, and generates buying interest from traditional art lovers
Cube by Pak, part of "The Fungible" Collection featured in Sotheby's inaugural NFT sale.Sotheby's


Sotheby's specialist Michael Bouhanna prices NFTs by "taking the temperature" of the market.




Both Bouhanna and colleague Matthew Iles have converted traditional art clients to NFT collectors.




They predict that generative and community-based art will continue to be popular.


After centuries of dealing in fine arts and rare goods, any mention of the name Sotheby's immediately connotes luxury and opulence. But now, the auction house is venturing into the Wild West of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.Like rival auction house Christie's, Sotheby's first launched a sale of NFTs a?? certificates of ownership representing mainly digital assets a?? earlier this spring. In its inaugural sale, Sotheby's raked in $17 million from a collection called "The Fungible" by anonymous digital artist Pak."It's previously been impossible to appreciate this type of artwork in the same commercial way because it was simply impossible to possess digital art as ownable," said Matthew Iles, managing director of Sotheby's Metaverse, the auction house's recently launched dedicated NFT marketplace. "NFTs have unlocked demand that previously couldn't be expressed commercially."

Valuing NFTs versus traditional artwork

To value NFTs, one must "take the temperature" of a certain artist or market, said Michael Bouhanna, co-head of Digital Art Sales at Sotheby's.
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