Sotheby’s hit $100 million in 2021 NFT sales as investors pour capital in the metaverse


  • The auction house Sotheby’s is the first historical art institution to join the metaverse through its NFT sales. 
  • Sotheby’s has sold CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club and NFTs from digital artist Pak, clocking in the $100 million revenue. 
  • Investors and institutions are pouring capital into the metaverse, over 50% of Sotheby’s bidders were under 40 years of age

Historic auction house Sotheby’s announced record annual sales of $7.3 billion in 2021. The art institution issued a statement revealing $6 billion in revenue from auctions and a $100 million from the sale of NFTs. 

Sotheby’s metaverse push generated $100 million from NFT sales

Sotheby’s is the first historic art institution to venture into the metaverse and the sale of non-fungible tokens. The metaverse push added $100 million to the auction house’s revenue for 2021, from the sale of NFTs. 

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), a collection of 10,000 unique NFTs, and CryptoPunks, launched in 2017 by Larva labs were among the two prominent collections auctioned by the art institution. A BAYC NFT sold for $3.4 million and a single CryptoPunk fetched the institution a whopping $11.8 million. 

Sotheby’s revenue in 2021 marks the strongest year in its 277 year history. 

The institution’s first NFT sale was by pseudonymous artist Pak, clocking $16.8 million within three days. Sotheby’s noted a rebound as clients enjoyed the seamless digital and physical experience offered by the auction house. 

As investors pour capital in the metaverse and digital experiences, NFT sales have skyrocketed. Sotheby’s noted that over 50% of the bidders were under 40 years old, a shift to younger tech driven entrepreneurs as clients. 

Sotheby’s recently launched its metaverse platform, “Sotheby’s Metaverse” in a push to boost revenue from the sale of digital art. The auction house had showcased NFTs in a virtual gallery on Decentraland, reaching wider audiences. 


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