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NFT artist Pak’s ‘Merge’ collectively fetches almost Rs 700 crore, could be most expensive artwork ever

NFT artist Pak’s ‘Merge’ collectively fetches almost Rs 700 crore, could be most expensive artwork ever
Photo Credit: Nifty Gateway
9 Dec, 2021

In one of the most intriguing and innovative NFT (non-fungible token) artwork sales to date, a collective piece of digital artwork -- called The Merge -- has been reportedly sold for a whopping total sum of $91.8 million (approx Rs 693 crore). But, here’s where things get more interesting -- it isn’t a single piece of art, but could potentially become one. Here’s how. 

Sold on NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway by Pak, a digital artist collective, ‘The Merge’ essentially offered buyers multiple ‘masses’, or small, singular tokens that could either be bought as single pieces, or in bulk. The sale was hosted over three full days, during which over 28,000 buyers reportedly spent the massive amount of money to buy a total 266,445 masses, or units, of the ‘Merge’ artwork collective. 

There were incentives offered with the sale, as well. On December 2, when the sale began, each mass of Merge cost $575 -- which could go down to $299 if the buyer already owned a piece of artwork by Pak. The price of each mass of Merge went up by $25 every six hours of the sale. Bulk purchases also rewarded the buyers with incremental bonus pieces of The Merge. 

Interestingly, there’s a decremental nature to the entire sale of Merge. In the secondary market, whenever a collector purchases masses of the Merge from a fellow owner, the previous owner’s tokens are purged, and the new owner’s collective tokens are merged together to generate a new NFT based on the collective tokens. 

If it all goes to plan, the entire NFT sale will help create Merge into a single piece of art, which would then make it the highest priced single art piece ever sold. The distinction, for now, would still belong to Beeple, whose Everydays: The First 5000 Days digital art piece fetched $69.3 million. While The Merge has collectively breached this figure, given its experimentally fragmented nature, we’d have to wait and see how this one pans out.