Christie’s moves on-chain with NFT auction platform on Ethereum

After a series of successful high-priced nonfungible token (NFT) sales, Christie’s has launched its own dedicated NFT “on-chain auction platform,” allowing auctions to be carried out fully on-chain on the Ethereum network.

The 256-year-old British auction giant, which is also the second-largest auction house in the world by fine-art auction revenue, said its “Christie’s 3.0” allows for NFT auctions to be conducted entirely on the ETH network “from start to finish.”

“All transactions, including post-sale, will be automatically recorded on the blockchain.”

In its past NFT auctions, the payments from the winning bidder were not always conducted on a blockchain, but the creation of Christie’s marketplace allows transactions to occur in a fashion much like the popular marketplace OpenSea, allowing for payments to be made in Ether (ETH). 

Christie’s said the new marketplace was developed in partnership with NFT smart contract development startup Manifold, metaverse development firm Spatial and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.

The announcement was paired with an inaugural launch of only one project exclusive to the new marketplace by artist Diana Sinclair, featuring just nine NFTs which can be viewed in an online virtual gallery built by Spatial.

Christie’s has seen major success with NFT auctions in the past, such as Beeple’s “Everydays – The First 5000 Days,” which was minted exclusively for the auction house selling for a record $69.3 million in Mar. 2021, becoming one of the most expensive NFTs ever sold.

At the time, the sale of the NFT was conducted in partnership with NFT marketplace MakersPlace.

The firm also facilitated the auction of nine CryptoPunks in May 2021 with the winning bid coming in at almost $17 million.

Related: Beyond the NFT hype: The need for reimagining digital art’s value proposition

Christie’s Web3 interest has moved outside of NFT auctions, in July it launched a venture fund aimed at supporting “art-related financial products and solutions” in Web3 with its initial investment going to LayerZero Labs, a company building decentralized applications compatible with multiple blockchains.

Rival auction house Sotheby’s has taken a similar interest in Web3 and NFTs, launching its own metaverse in Oct. 2021 and having its share of high-priced NFT sales also.