Florian Cramer on Tue, 16 Mar 2021 10:43:27 +0100 (CET)
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Re: <nettime> what does monetary value indicate?
- To: Felix Stalder <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: <nettime> what does monetary value indicate?
- From: Florian Cramer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2021 10:41:42 +0100
- Cc: nettime-l <email@example.com>
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On Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 5:49 PM Felix Stalder <firstname.lastname@example.org
> I'm sure many have followed the NFT art saga over the last couple of
> months and seen today's headline that somebody just paid $ 69,346,250
> for a NFT on a blockchain, meta-data to claim ownership of the
> "originalcopy" of a digital art work.
Thanks to Amy Castor's article (which you also mentioned/linked to, https://amycastor.com/2021/03/14/metakovan-the-mystery-beeple-art-buyer-and-his-nft-defi-scheme/
), we now know that the buyer didn't actually pay $69,346,250, but "$60 million in ETH and $9 million in fees, also in ETH" - a significant difference IMHO. The whole Christie's sale thus boils down to a conversion of one type of ETH token into another type of ETH token within the portfolio of a crypto currency investment firm, and using the art market transaction as means of pumping the value of the latter.
So it seems as if the art market is used as a prop for financial transactions that would likely be illegal on regulated financial markets. Ben Lewis' 2009 documentary film "The Great Contemporary Bubble" investigates the insider trade with Damien Hirst's art, including the common phenomenon of a few collectors acting as cartels that inflate the prices of certain artists (which includes galleries who bid on their own artists in anonymous auctions). It seems as if this phenomenon is repeating itself, only that the insider trade and price manipulation now is no longer about the market value of an art work, but about the value of the currency with which it has been bought.
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