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Sotheby’s Launches First Bitcoin Ordinals-based NFT Auction

Brian Yue
Last updated: | 2 min read
In an X post on December 6, the auction house said it was “thrilled” to present its first Bitcoin Ordinals sale, which will run from December 6 to 13.
Source: Pixabay

Sotheby’s has announced the start of its inaugural Bitcoin Ordinals sale, an online auction showcasing three items from the BitcoinShrooms NFT collection.

In an X post on December 6, the auction house said it was “thrilled” to present its first Bitcoin Ordinals sale, which will run from December 6 to 13.

“Elegantly weaving the nuanced tapestry of Bitcoin’s history, culture, and core technicalities, each unique, pixelated, and hand-crafted piece forms part of a masterful, yet playful guide to the revolutionary realm of Bitcoin,” Sotheby’s noted in a press release announcing the start of the auction.

Conceived by the pseudonymous digital artist Shroomtoshi, the BitcoinShrooms features pixelated art aimed at illustrating the history, culture, and core technical aspects of the blockchain, according to Sotheby’s.

Although the BitcoinShrooms collection consists of 222 works, only three items will be up for auction.

The three items up for auction include “S,” symbolizing “Self-Sovereignty;” “Sovereign Individual,” drawing inspiration from the Bitcoin-related book by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg; and “BIP39 Seed,” a reference to the commonly used 12 to 24 recovery seed phrase backups.

Up until now, there have been a total of 107 bids placed across the various lots, with “S” garnering the highest interest at 47 bids.

While each lot was initially estimated to be valued in the range of $20,000 to $30,000 with no reserve, current bid highs have already surpassed these estimates. “S,” “Sovereign Individual,” and “BIP39 Seed” currently boast bid highs of $42,000, $50,000, and $28,000, respectively.

“The BitcoinShrooms collection is a pixelated recap of the first 13 years of Bitcoin, a homage to the 8-bit style of art that expresses a slight nostalgia for the 90s, a way to soil tens of thousands of SSDs spread across the world with my art (next level cyber-vandalism), a tool to raise awareness about Bitcoin and what I personally view as its core principles, an ironic way to vent at what I see as its annoying pop elements and aberrations,” Shroomtoshi said about the collection.

The Bitcoin Ordinals protocol provides a novel method for storing and exchanging digital content on the Bitcoin blockchain. Leveraging satoshis, the smallest units of bitcoin, users can etch NFTs, BRC-20 tokens, and other arbitrary data directly onto the blockchain, transforming each piece into a distinctive and tradable asset.

While the terms “Ordinals” and “inscriptions” are often used interchangeably, an ordinal specifically serves as a unique serialized identifier for an individual satoshi, whereas an inscription refers to the content or data attached to that particular satoshi.