Art Dirt: What are NFTs and how did one sell for $69 million?

by Glasstire March 14, 2021
Beeple Everydays NFT sold at Christies

Beeple, Everydays – The First 5000 Days NFT, 21,069 pixels x 21,069 pixels (316,939,910 bytes). Image courtesy the artist and Christie’s. This piece recently sold at Christie’s for $69.3 million.

Christina Rees and Brandon Zech break down the meteoric rise of NFTs.

“These things aren’t necessarily meant to be bought and kept — they’re meant to be flipped — that’s the point. That’s how they gain value.”

To play the podcast, click on the orange play button below. You can also listen to it here. You can also find Glasstire on Apple Podcasts.


This week’s podcast is sponsored in part by the Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET) and its current exhibition, Delita Martin: Conjure. The show, which features Martin’s twenty-one new portraits of Black women, presents viewers with a profound celebration of Black women’s lives and experiences. The exhibition runs March 13 – May 23, 2021. AMSET is located at 500 Main Street in Beaumont, Texas. For more information, please go here.

If you enjoy Glasstire and would like to support our work, please consider donating. As a nonprofit, all of the money we receive goes back into our coverage of Texas art. You can make a one-time donation or become a sustaining, monthly donor here.

Related Reading:
Decrypt: Christie’s Auctions Off Its First-Ever NFT-Linked Artwork For Record $131,250
Decrypt: How NFTs Blew Up in 2020
Decrypt: Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT): Beginner’s Guide
Decrypt: Rick & Morty Creator Sells Ethereum Art for $1.65 Million
Artnet News: What’s a ‘Rug Pull’? Here’s Kenny Schachter’s Handy Glossary of NFT Terms for Newbie Crypto-Art Converts
The Art Newspaper: NFTs: a new disruptor in the art market?
Art Market Monitor: Christie’s to Sell Its First Fully Digital Work of Art in Test of Emerging Market
NY Times: Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,000
The Art Newspaper: Christie’s to accept cryptocurrency for first time
Hyperallergic: NFT Art Goes Viral and Heads to Auction — But What Is It?
Artnet News: In the Latest NFT Auction Frenzy, an Artist Just Sold a Collection of Digital Furniture for $450,000—See Images of the Otherworldly Designs Here
Artnet News: Is This the Next Art-Market Bubble? A Unique NFT for the Popular ‘Nyan Cat’ GIF Just Sold for a Whopping $560,000
Artnews: Beeple NFT Artwork Sells for $6.6 M. Ahead of Viral Christie’s Auction
Artnet News: Christie’s Hopes to Open a New Frontier of the Art Market With the First-Ever Major Auction of a Wholly Digital Blockchain Artwork
Artnet News: Kenny Schachter Gets Sucked Into the Surreal NFT Vortex… and Makes a Fortune Overnight in the New Virtual Art Market
The Art Newspaper: Banksy-style NFTs have sold for $900,000—but are they the real deal and does it even matter?
Greg Allen: Nyan Cats & FO Dogs
The Art Newspaper: The NFT craze encapsulates the absurdity of the art world—and its obsession with authenticity
Artnet News: ‘It’s All Happening’: As an NFT Artwork by Beeple Sells for $6.6 Million, Market Observers Are Torn Between Jubilation and Alarm
The Verge: Grimes sold $6 million worth of digital art as NFTs
Artnews: In a First, Damien Hirst to Accept Cryptocurrency as Payment for New Prints
Artnews: First Rule of Clubhouse: Never Stop Talking About NFTs
CBS News: Blockchain company buys and burns Banksy artwork to turn it into a digital original
Artnews: Christie’s to Sell Its First Fully Digital Work of Art in Test of Emerging Market
Bloomberg: NFTs Are Booming, But They’re Nothing New in the Art Market
Adweek: Want to Buy Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet? It’ll Be $2.5 Million
Wired: The Next Frontier of the NFT Gold Rush: Your Tweets
Rolling Stone: T-Mobile’s Ex-CEO John Legere Bought a $888,888.88 Steve Aoki NFT
Artnet News: Are NFTs the Next Tulip Bubble? Kenny Schachter Doesn’t Care—and He Sold His Own Grandma on the Crypto Web to Prove It
Contention: NFTs hook the greatest fools ever
Artnet News: Will NFTs Revolutionize the Art Market or Repeat Its Greatest Failures? These 4 Factors Will Determine Their Fate
NY Times: JPG File Sells for $69 Million, as ‘NFT Mania’ Gathers Pace
Memo Akten: The Unreasonable Ecological Cost of #CryptoArt (Part 1)
Martin Lukas Ostachowski: A Chronological Review of Crypto Art, Blockchain-related Physical Art and Crypto Collectibles
Kaleidoscope XCP: The Early Evolution of (Some) Art On The Blockchain — Part 1
The Associated Press auctions its first NFT commemorating AP’s historic use of the blockchain for distributing 2020 election data
Institute of Network Cultures: Remarks on Crypto-Art by Rosa Menkman


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Paul Slocum March 16, 2021 - 14:35

…not to be too self-serving, but I do think these are good articles to add to the list. Also, I haven’t had a chance to listen to the full podcast yet (too many NFT articles to catch up with), but we sold a digital edition of an HTML webpage that was already publicly available on my website at Road Agent around 2008. 🙂

Christina Rees March 16, 2021 - 15:55


Lee Albert Hill March 22, 2021 - 15:40

Am I to understand that digital art has become the bubble gum wrapper around an NFT? The real value being what’s hidden inside?

Chris Becker March 26, 2021 - 13:21

This is really well done. Very clear, and very honest too.


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