Summary List Placement
Justin Sun, the founder and CEO of the cryptocurrency platform Tron, bought a Beeple crypto art piece for $6 million on Monday night.
The sale was Mike Winkelmann’s first crypto art drop since he shattered digital-art records earlier this month with his $69.3 million sale. Sun bid on Winkelmann’s previous piece, “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” but was outbid at the last second by pseudonymous crypto investor @MetaKovan.
Sun’s latest purchase came down to the very last minute, as he vied against two anonymous bidders identified as @3fmusic and @babybeluga. The sale quickly climbed from $2.5 million to $6 million.
Sales of nonfungible tokens or NFTs — items that operate as unique digita assets— have boomed in the past few months. Artists like Grimes and 3LAU have also made millions on NFT drops like Beeple’s.
The auction took place on Nifty Gateway and was a part of a three-day Carbon Drop initiative presented by Social Alpha Foundation. It was a project designed to offset the environmental costs of crypto-art by donating 100% of the profits to the Open Earth Foundation.
NFTs are minted, bought, and sold on the blockchain, most commonly Ethereum. As a result, NFTs can create a significant carbon footprint due to the energy required for blockchain transactions, though minting and trading NFTs itself does not increase the carbon emissions as Ethereum has a fixed rate of energy consumption.
Winkelmann was one of eight digital artists included in the drop. The program is raising funds to develop digital infrastructure that can help improve climate change efforts.
Justin Sun told Insider he hopes the auction will bring awareness to the environmental issues in the crypto world.
“Not only am I now the owner of an art piece from the most sought after NFT artist of our time, but I get to support the leading agenda of our time, which is climate change,” Sun told Insider. “I have lots of NFTs now but this piece, Ocean Front, is one of my most precious NFT pieces.”
Sun was not the only public figure to bid on the Beeple piece. Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki cast earlier bids.
Nifty Gateway co-founders Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster told Insider their platform is actively working to limit the amount of space it uses on the blockchain.
Winkelmann expressed his gratitude to Sun on Twitter.
“Massive congrats to Justin Sun,” Winkelmann wrote on Twitter. “Six million dollars for climate change. This is what we need to enact real meaningful change. To work together instead of fighting one another.”
— beeple (@beeple) March 23, 2021
Climate change activist Christina Figueres, former secretary of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and architect of the Paris Agreement, expressed support for the Carbon Drop on Twitter.
Great to see influential digital artists like @beeple come together on #climateaction! Fundraise auction https://t.co/7pus6C113p for @Open__Earth w/8 leading artists supporting open technology for climate transparency. Art is such an important voice!
— Christiana Figueres (@CFigueres) March 18, 2021