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Beeple reflects one year after historic $69 million digital art sale

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Mike Winkelmann’s life changed on March 11, 2021, and so did the trajectories of the art and the blockchain communities. 

That day, Winkelmann, a digital artist more commonly known by the handle Beeple, sold “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” an NFT-linked digital collage at Christie’s. The work brought in $69.3 million at the revered British auction house. 

Now, a year later, he spoke with NBC News about the sale and what he thinks about the evolving NFT art scene.

“It very much changed the trajectory of my life,” he said. “The same could be said for the broader art world.” 

The sale brought NFTs — non-fungible tokens — into the limelight, inspiring a surge of enthusiasm and money around the technology, and the NFT community is still navigating its move into the mainstream. Estimates of total NFT sales in 2021 vary from $25 billion to $41 billion — both a tremendous increase from 2020, when sales totaled more than $250 million. 

Winkelmann, speaking during a Zoom call from his 50,000-square-foot studio in Charleston, South Carolina, now employs 15 people and…

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