Prices in 'bubble', artist Beeple says after his $93 million digital image sale to S’pore-based buyer

Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelman sold a non-fungible token of his piece "Everydays: The First 5000 Days" for US$69.3 million. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - NFT art is "absolutely" in a bubble, said the digital artist who this month sold a non-fungible token of his piece "Everydays: The First 5000 Days" for an eye-watering US$69.3 million (S$93 million).

"I absolutely think it's a bubble, to be quite honest. I go back to the analogy of the beginning of the Internet. There was a bubble. And the bubble burst," Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, said on "Fox News Sunday".

"But it didn't wipe out the internet. And so the technology itself is strong enough where I think it's going to outlive that."

The record-setting NFT is a collage of images made each day for 13 years.

"It's really something that sort of catalogs both my life over that time and sort of things that have happened in the world over that time," he said.

Winklemann, or Beeple, said watching the conclusion of the Christie's online auction on March 11 was "very surreal. It sort of jumped from like 27 million to 50 million. It was literally just like a bomb went off in the room".

The sale was a record for digital art, and catapulted Winklemann to third place on the list of works from a living artist, behind the Jeff Koons sculpture "Rabbit" and and David Hockney's painting, "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)."

NFTs are virtual collectibles that use similar technology to that behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to create a certificate of ownership over a specific digital file.

The South Carolina artist's work was purchased by anonymous digital asset investor known as Metakovan, Bloomberg News reported. Christie's accepted payment in Ether, the world's second-biggest digital coin, which the artist quickly converted to cold cash.

"By Friday night, the guy - it's a guy in Singapore - he had the artwork and I had the money," he said. "US$55 million in my bank account. Like, boom, done, the next day."

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