Christie's has become the first global auction house to create an NFT marketplace where all transactions will be conducted on the Ethereum blockchain.
On Tuesday, the auction house introduced Christie’s 3.0, a blockchain-based NFT auction platform on the Ethereum network.
The new platform comes in the wake of the Ethereum Merge, which sliced the blockchain’s energy usage by more than 99%.
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Christie’s director of digital art sales Nicole Sales Giles told NFT Now: "This new platform will enable the legacy auction house to conduct fully on-chain NFT sales, ensuring that all transactions, including post-sale processing, will be automated and on-chain."
Eric Diep, co-founder of Manifold said: “The launch of Christie’s 3.0 signifies an institutional expansion of the regulated market for digital assets, which both validates NFTs as an art form and provides incredible benefits for digital artists."
One of the first ranges to be launched on the new platform will be nine NFTs by artist Diana Sinclair.
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Christie's has previously auctioned NFTs such as Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5,000 Days artwork which sold for $69.3m in March 2021.
However, previous NFT sales were not typically conducted fully "on-chain", as the artwork was purchased in US dollars and then converted to ether (ETH-USD) for the "onchain" NFT purchase.
In Christie’s 3.0 NFT marketplace the entire transaction process will be recorded in full on the Ethereum blockchain.
The move has been hailed as a big step towards the mass adoption of crypto-native art markets.
Read more: Bitcoin price surges over 7% as pound tanks
Christie's said it would also incorporate anti-money laundering, compliance and taxation tools within the new platform.
However, the news did little to bolster the price of ethereum (ETH-USD), which fell over 7% on Wednesday to $1,283.
Ethereum's fall was mirrored by bitcoin (BTC-USD) which also fell over 7% to $18,766, after an early week rally.
Considering the wider problems in global markets, as the pound (GBPUSD=X) plunged below $1.07 on Wednesday, bitcoin and ethereum are still showing a tendency to march in lockstep with equity markets, such as the S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Nasdaq (^IXIC).