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Historic British auction house Christie’s, founded in the 18th century, continues to embrace innovation. After hosting memorable NFT auctions, the house launched the Web3 investment fund Christie’s Ventures. The entity will offer seed funding to tech startups, which will help collectors buy digital art.
The fund will focus on financial resources and expert support for emerging technology and fintech enterprises related to art—specifically, Web3 innovation, art-related financial products, solutions, and technology.
Christie’s first company in the investment portfolio is the Canadian Web3 company LayerZero Labs, an omnichain interoperability protocol that allows clients to move assets between blockchains.
“As a global leader in the art market, Christie’s has both an incentive and a responsibility to further innovation and deepen experiences for our clients. The intersections of technology and financial products are increasingly relevant and prevalent, and we believe strongly in the opportunities ahead,” Christie’s COO Ben Gore said in a press release.
The news comes one day before the Christie’s Art + Tech Summit 22. The conference sponsor is the blockchain investment company Galaxy Digital, while the media partner is the TIME Pieces NFT community from TIME magazine.
Last week, Christie’s announced a milestone of $4.1 billion in global sales for Q1 of 2022. It’s the highest number since 2015.
On March 11, 2021, the London-based auction house sold the first NFT by Beeple for $69,346,250, the second most expensive NFT ever sold.
Last month, Noah Davis, head of the NFT team at Christie’s auction, announced he was leaving Christie’s to join Yuga Labs as the brand lead for CryptoPunks.
Until July 25, there is an auction at Christie’s for the University of Pennsylvania’s first NFT. The NFT titled “Vaccines for a New Era” is a one-minute 3D animation commemorating a historic scientific breakthrough.
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