Renowned art collector sues Nifty Gateway over auction for abundance of million dollar Beeple work

Amir Soleymani, also known as mondoir, has filed a lawsuit in the UK against Nifty Gateway – a digital art and collectibles marketplace responsible for selling the second and third most expensive NFTs ever sold – for an auction of an original Beeple Abundance piece that ultimately sold for $ 1.2 million on Nifty Gateway.

Nifty Gateway hosted an auction that saw the highest bidders or “winners” receive numbered editions of the Beeple Abundance artwork matching the position of their respective bids. Bidders were then required to pay for the ranked editions, although Soleymani’s sole intention was to own the unique piece from the first edition. He therefore took issue with Nifty Gateway on whether the Beeple auction was legal or not.

The auction for Abundance took place between April 30 and May 2, 2021, sparking interest in “whales” – a term used to describe an entity that holds premium NFTs or many coins of a cryptocurrency. particular – including Justin Sun, founder of cryptocurrency Tron, and Taylor Gerring, co-founder of the second largest cryptocurrency Ethereum. Abundance was created by Beeple who in March sold an NFT for $ 69 million at Christie’s – the most expensive NFT of all time.

After the Abundance auction closed and Soleymani was the third highest bidder, Nifty Gateway claimed he had “won” an edition of the Beeple coin for which he was asked to pay but declined. Nifty Gateway has proceeded to freeze its NFT collection on their site, which consists of hundreds of thousands of dollars of NFT that it had previously purchased, and the collection remains frozen by Nifty Gateway.

It is recognized that NFTs which are not “first edition” have a significantly lower value than first editions and it is highly unlikely that a third NFT edition, regardless of the provenance of the work, will generate an offer. close to the value of Mr. Soleymani’s bid for the first edition of Abondance, if auctioned as an individual lot.

NFTs quickly developed as virtual securitizations of art and collectibles, with digital works fetching huge prices. Between May 2020 and April 2021, NFT’s total sales on Nifty Gateway totaled approximately $ 303.8 million. Nifty Gateway was acquired by Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Legal action is currently pending in the High Court in London, although Nifty Gateway has not yet embarked on the process.

Norma D. Ross