Earlier this week, Metapurse announced that after weeks of strategic planning, we acquired all twenty 1/1 Beeple artworks from the Beeple Everydays: The 2020 Collectiondropon Nifty Gateway. Having spent about $2.2 million on the artworks in the record-breaking sale, we have encountered overwhelming support from the community — but admittedly, and quite naturally, also a series of “whys.”
Why Metapurse and Why Now?
Why would Metapurse spend such a large amount of money on digital art? First, we aren’t new to this. We have been passionate supporters of the metaverse for years now, having amassed the largest collection in the world, consisting of some of the most culturally significant NFTs valued at ~$3.2m, before including the Beeple set!
To capture the zeitgeist of NFT movement means to put skin in the game and to support and propel the ecosystem where it wants to go. That’s why Metapurse.
The timing is a more fascinating question. We didn’t do it for a burst of fame, because clearly, numbers-driven popularity is going to be short lived. The next ‘big sale’ is always just round the corner. Making a quick buck is out of question, because one does not simply flip a Beeple — and definitely not a set of Beeples.
We did this because we believe that the metaverse is upon us.
The Metaverse is Here
Metapurse was founded on the belief that a shift from a physical to virtual life will have a profound impact on humanity and open opportunities to anyone with an internet connection — ultimately being a force of good. As such, it is in our very nature to be on the ground floor of pivotal cultural movements like the Beeple auction, which broke a ceiling and signaled to the world that crypto art can rival traditional art.
We are fortunate to be in a position where we can not only help build this new world, but also support the creatives who are establishing the metaverse culture.
The Beeple Tidal Wave
When we discovered that Beeple was entering the crypto art world and planning a drop on Nifty Gateway, we knew Metapurse had to get involved.
Beeple is not just an extremely talented artist that has amassed an occult following, he is fanatically dedicated to his craft and has worked with top companies and artists, like Louis Vuitton, SpaceX, Apple, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Marshmello, and many more.
True, there are popular mainstream artists, and more will come. Beeple, though, is one of us. As mentioned in our last blog, he has made one piece of art every day for the past thirteen years straight — an incredibly impressive feat bordering on the insane. Apart from this wellspring of creativity, he is also fiercely democratised: most of his work is under a free creative commons license. This manic creation and irrational giving is the quintessence of a crypto artist — the ones we’ve met and fallen in love with, at least!
For these reasons, we intuited that this drop would not merely make a splash, but be a tidal wave of historic proportions. It would mark the point where crypto art attracted the attention of every artist and collector, both mainstream and niche, all over the world. And we had to be a part of it.
How It Went Down
Solid prep. Weeks of conversations about cryptoart — about what we intended to do with the art, and about intention, perception, economics, and inequity. Then this was followed by two weeks of planning, moving funds around, and getting battle ready for the inevitable clashes with the biggest whales in the space. A few days before the drop, the Winklevoss twins tweeted that they were going to jump in as well. How does one even prepare for that? What sort of an upper limit do you set when you wade in?
The drop finally began on Friday, December 11th. We dipped our toes with the open edition art to test the waters, i.e., connectivity speed, the responsiveness of the platform, and if our own systems were equipped to handle fierce and, if need be, simultaneous bidding on multiple pieces. Turns out we were ready.
We (Metakovan and Twobadour) were on a constant comms link. We went in piece after piece, treated every auction as a separate process, and adjusted strategy to avoid patterns that might give away the game. And didn’t stop until we had all 20 of the 1/1 Beeple pieces in the Beeple Everydays: The 2020 Collection.
Some have asked why we used different accounts to purchase the artworks. We knew that if others saw us buying from the same account (Metakovan or Metapurse), it would simply drive the price up to impossible levels. In fact, some of the more discerning participants did catch on. We had DMs from a couple of the collectors congratulating us on the game plan, wishing us well. More than one keen observer called out the patterns in the multiple accounts — the hills of Rome, or founding fathers of computing. We stayed low key because this wasn’t an ego trip. We had our eye on the prize.
Surfing The Wave
So much could have gone wrong. After losing ground again and again, a collector might have had a meltdown and grabbed a piece right in the middle of the series. We didn’t have any effective counter-strategy if we managed to get 17, or even 19 out of the 20 — which is what makes this truly historic.
We realize that this type of event will likely never happen again. The chances of a single person (or group in our case) being able to acquire every piece from a historically significant drop is very unlikely. Quite truthfully, we feel that $2.2 million is a bargain price for owning a piece of history like this. But that’s because owning the Beeple 20 is only part of what we’re trying to do.
The weeks of planning, the game plan, the 20 battles — the story only begins here. We are brewing something big — big enough to surf the tidal wave of this huge drop. It will be our way to help change the art world forever and accelerate the cultural movement of the metaverse.
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