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Sotheby's BitcoinShrooms and the Ordinals Wave: Riding High on a $450K Sale

The event, titled "BitcoinShrooms: An Ordinals Auction," is set to take place online from December 6th to 13th, 2023, and marks a significant moment for both Sotheby's and the broader digital asset community.

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In a move that intertwines the traditional with the cutting-edge, esteemed auction house Sotheby's is stepping into the realm of Bitcoin Ordinals with its first auction dedicated to this new form of NFTs.

Sotheby's is showcasing select BitcoinShrooms from the Bitcoin ordinals project by digital artist Shroomtoshi. This auction, running online until 13 December, is particularly noteworthy as it's the first time works from this highly anticipated collection will be available to the public. The BitcoinShrooms collection, totalling 222 works, is described as a pixelated recap of Bitcoin's first 13 years, is a visual symphony of Bitcoin’s history, culture, and core technicalities.

Bitcoin Shrooms S (Inscription 38) currently sits at $42,000 after just 2 days on the auction block. Sovereign Individual (Inscription 715) is at $50,000, while BIP39 Seed (Inscription 679) is at $28,000. All have estimates of $20,000–$30,000.

Understanding Bitcoin Ordinals

Bitcoin Ordinals, often referred to as the "NFTs of the Bitcoin," are a relatively new concept, having been launched on 21 January 2023 by Bitcoin Core contributor and software engineer Casey Rodarmor.

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They represent unique, serialized satoshis (the smallest unit of Bitcoin) that can be transferred by their owner. Unlike Ethereum or Solana NFTs, Bitcoin Ordinals benefit from the decentralized nature of Bitcoin, offering on-chain immutability and sovereignty. This means that the art is stored 100% on the blockchain and is controlled exclusively by the owner of the Bitcoin address holding it.

And just when you thought the digital art world couldn't get any more exhilarating, along comes a sale that knocks your socks off. An early Bitcoin Ordinals piece – Ordinals inscription number eight from the Honey Badger collection – recently fetched a staggering 10.4 BTC ($450,000) on Thursday on Magic Eden. This isn't just chump change; it's a record-breaking sale that signals a seismic shift in how we value digital art.

The inscription was purchased by pseudonymous Twitter user The OG General, who said "Inscription #8 was inscribed when almost no one cared about inscriptions, on Jan 15 at 1 sat/vB. " Ordinals Can not be stopped !! " Back to work , I am just warming up. LFG !!"

The Future is Not Yet Inscribed

As Sotheby's tiptoes into the Bitcoin Ordinals arena with the BitcoinShrooms auction, it's not just dipping its toes into new waters; it's doing a cannonball into the deep end of the NFT pool. This isn't your run-of-the-mill art auction; it's a bold statement that even the grandmasters of the traditional art world are ready to tango with the pixelated, blockchain-backed future of art.

As we look to the future, one thing's for sure – the art world is in for a wild ride. With institutions like Sotheby's embracing Bitcoin Ordinals, we're on the cusp of a new era in art collection and appreciation.