Sotheby's Launches On-Chain Secondary NFT Marketplace

Sotheby’s Metaverse will now offer a curated, peer-to-peer marketplace via the Ethereum and Polygon networks.

AccessTimeIconMay 1, 2023 at 4:16 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 24, 2024 at 12:30 a.m. UTC

Art auction house Sotheby's is expanding its non-fungible token (NFT) art offerings through the release of a specially curated, peer-to-peer secondary marketplace.

Through its Web3 arm, Sotheby’s Metaverse will now offer direct transactions between collectors on its platform. The integrated sales system will be fully on-chain via the Ethereum and Polygon networks, and users can pay in either native token ETH or MATIC.

Sotheby's Metaverse says it will continue to honor artist royalties through smart contracts on its resale platform that automatically pays artists according to their selected on-chain royalty rate.

"Sotheby’s commitment to honoring artist royalties comes amidst a larger debate about royalties within the NFT community, and signals Sotheby’s artist-first ethos as one of the only major NFT marketplaces committed to artist resale royalties," the platform said in a press release.

Artists featured on Sotheby's secondary marketplace will rotate every few months. The platform will launch with works from 13 leading digital artists, including Tyler Hobbs, Claire Silver, XCOPY, Diana Sinclair, Pindar van Arman and others.

"The opportunity to expand Sotheby’s Metaverse with a fully on-chain peer-to-peer market is an important step forward in our evolution within the digital art and collectible space," said Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s vice president and head of NFTs and digital art in a press release. "To commemorate this event by opening our secondary market to a carefully selected group of artists, many of whom have been at the forefront of the movement and brought digital art to worldwide attention, further emphasizes Sotheby’s commitment to the NFT community and to creating a space for discerning collectors.”

The 275-year-old auction house first jumped into NFTs in April 2021 and has made over $120 million in total NFT sales. The platform has facilitated a number of record-breaking NFT sales, including a "Covid Alien" CryptoPunk that sold for $11.7 million in June 2021, the World Wide Web source code that sold for $5.4 million in July 2021 and a rare Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT that sold for $3.4 million in October 2021.

Sotheby's Metaverse also plans to launch a digital art gallery through metaverse platform Oncyber in June, with different rooms curated by different artists and collectors, including the pseudonymous Cozomo De Medici.

Edited by Toby Leah Bochan.


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Rosie Perper

Rosie Perper was the Deputy Managing Editor for Web3 and Learn, focusing on the metaverse, NFTs, DAOs and emerging technology like VR/AR. She has previously worked across breaking news, global finance, tech, culture and business. She holds a small amount of BTC and ETH and several NFTs. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter, The Airdrop.