There are some days scrolling through Twitter when a slew of announcements dominates the headlines. Often during a crypto bull run, it can be impossible to escape announcements from big banks, consumer brands, and countless Fortune 500 companies declaring their allegiance to the blockchain.
Whether its Visa purchasing a CryptoPunk or JPMorgan weighing in on a seemingly-weely basis with a reminder that they are bullish on Bitcoin — legacy corporations have not only entered the crypto world, but have determined that aligning themselves with the industry is great for PR (whether or not they plan to put their money where their Tweets are.
The common meme response from the crypto community is a tongue-in-cheek analysis that we’ve seen the “top.” Basically, if these conservative and risk-averse institutions are getting into crypto, it’s no longer “early.”
But two of the oldest, stuffiest, and most exclusive institutions in the world have avoided that disdain: Sotheby’s and Christie’s.
The two auction houses date back to 1744 and 1766 respectively. As far as early adopters go, bicenterians generally don’t fit the mold.
But in March 2021, Christie’s departed from centuries of tradition by auctioning off the first NFT to ever appear in a major auction house. The $69M sale of Beeple’s ‘The First 5000 Days' marked the start of NFTs joining the mainstream conversation.
While NFTs had been around for years prior, it was this Christie’s sale that was the first to make a major splash across mainstream news outlets and popular culture (the price tag didn’t hurt).
Rather than jump aboard the bandwagon after it was deemed safe by the establishment institutions, Christie’s (and soon Sotheby’s) was earlier than 99% of today’s NFT community declaring themselves “OGs” of the space.
Think about it — that watershed moment occurred before the launch of Bored Ape Yacht Club.