Recently, Sotheby’s auction house shared details indicating that digital collectibles owned by Three Arrows Capital (3AC) fetched a sum of $10.9 million during a New York auction on June 15.
Following the plummet of Luna and TerraUSD cryptocurrencies, 3AC marked a significant event as the inaugural major crypto company to declare bankruptcy in 2022.
Before proceeding with their Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Three Arrows Capital had amassed an assortment of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These NFTs, which are distinctive digital tokens associated with both virtual and tangible content, act as proof of ownership for various assets such as artworks, videos, images, or snippets of text.
Christopher Farmer, a top managing director at Teneo consultancy, disclosed in February that select NFTs, once in possession of the now-bankrupt Singapore-based crypto hedge fund, Three Arrows Capital (3AC), were set to hit the auction block.
In a bid to recoup funds for its creditors, the auction was initiated.
Details of the auction were made public in April through an official statement:
Sotheby’s has announced its plans to auction a set of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) retrieved from the collapsed crypto hedge fund, Three Arrows Capital.
DappRadar, a blockchain activity tracker, indicated that the hedge fund had shelled out crypto worth $15.5 million to obtain the 37 NFTs during multiple acquisition phases spanning July to August 2021.
Highlighted within the acquired collection was artwork by Canadian artist Dimitri Cherniak. Notably, one of the most prized NFTs from the hedge fund’s collection was titled “The Goose,” recognized as Ringer #879 out of a series of 1,000 computer-generated abstract visuals.
It’s noted that Ringer #879 fetched a price of $6.2 million, which, based on DappRadar’s records, is $0.3 million more than the amount 3AC initially invested in its acquisition back in August 2021.
Interestingly, before the sale of Ringer #879, seven other NFTs from 3AC’s collection had already been auctioned off in May. These pieces collectively garnered a remarkable $2.5 million at Sotheby’s event.
Michael Bouhanna, who heads the digital art and NFTs department at Sotheby’s, mentioned that the increasing margins reflect a surging interest in NFTs. He elaborated:
The rising interest, even from those unfamiliar with crypto or NFTs, showcases an evolving understanding of their intrinsic value and allure.
Bouhanna clarified the nature of the NFTs auctioned, pointing out that although they primarily existed as digital entities viewable to anyone online, most came with tangible print copies. These hard copies provided buyers with a physical representation to showcase.
It’s pivotal to note that the NFT explosion in 2021 coincided with a rise in cryptocurrency values. This uptick was driven by tech aficionados placing bets on the growing profitability of digital assets in online virtual platforms.
However, the fervor and speculation surrounding NFTs have seen a significant decline. Sales dwindled from a towering sum of about $5.7 billion in January 2022 to a mere $675 million by May 2023.
This downturn in NFT sales is not solely due to the ebbing enthusiasm but can also be linked to a prevailing sentiment of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) in the industry. Such a climate has fostered heightened caution and risk aversion among market players.