The world’s purported first blockchain-focused art, Block 21 was sold off at Christie’s, renown auction house.
Block 21 is a part of Portraits of a Mind, a global art project decentralising the founding code behind Bitcoin into 40 fragments.
Portraits of a Mind is the largest work of art in the history of blockchain technology, with 40 paintings stretching more than 50 meters long and forming a complete hand painted transcription of the 12.8 million digits of code (v0.1.0) that launched Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency.
A symbolic expression of decentralisation, once globally distributed, the project will draw up a global network of 40 collectors where no one individual will hold all the code.
Offered privately in early 2020 to select collectors, the first half of Satoshi’s codebase (Blocks 0 -20), now lie decentralised across the world – in 14 cities and across 3 continents, with works placed in important private and corporate collections.
Eighteen bidders, from across three continents, bid online and by phone in a heated four-minute bidding war and the work sold for over 10 times its estimate, realising $131,250. The artwork was viewed online over 3,000 times at Christies.com.
The culmination of the high level auction, which featured works by Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Ed Ruscha, Martin Wong and Yayoi Kusama, resulted in a major moment for the cultural appreciation of Satoshi Nakamoto’s revolutionary codebase.
Alongside the painting, the anonymous buyer of Block 21 received access to a unique Non-Fungible Token (NFT), a core part of the artwork.
Created by Robert Alice and developed by the leading NFT specialists Async Labs, the NFT is spatiotemporally connected to the artwork- meaning that the digital component of the artwork is only visible during daylight within the time zone in which it is geographically located.
As the owner of the NFT, the buyer can control the visibility of the artwork by changing where it is located.
Featured Image: Christie’s New York