The NFT explosion would have been quieter if it hadn’t been for Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5,000 Days becoming the third most expensive artwork by a living artist ever sold at auction. But for that, someone had to buy it. MetaKovan, aka Vignesh Sundaresan, is not a conventional big-money art collector; until his winning $69m bid for Beeple’s magnum opus, the Indian crypto investor was unheard of. In December 2020 Sundaresan had bought $2.2m worth of Beeple’s works on Nifty Gateway, through his NFT ‘fund’ Metapurse. Of course, these purchases were in Ether, so Sundaresan’s entry into the artworld is really the story of the anarchic craze for cryptocurrencies, and how some savvy players have gamed this unregulated, frontier world of virtual value. Some have raised questions about Sundaresan’s activity – in November a Reuters investigation looked at the events leading to the stellar rise and crash of a new crypto coin he created for investors to buy into his NFT purchases. The moral of the tale? In crypto, some make millions, others lose them.
Most influential people in 2021 in the contemporary artworld
Collector - Crypto investor and NFT collector behind the acquisition of Beeple’s $69m ‘Everydays’
42 in 2021