Most Influential 2021: Beeple

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were already gaining steam before Mike Winkelmann, the digital artist who publishes under the name Beeple, sold a work at a Christie’s auction for $69.9 million. But it was that sale, made in Ethereum’s currency ETH, that brought the sub-sector to public consciousness. Winkelmann was a successful artist before NFTs, having worked with several mainstream brands and artists, but the auction of “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS,” a collage of his previous 13-years of work, has made him one of the most successful artists to date (behind only Leonardo da Vinci and Jeff Koons in terms of highest grossing sales). Beeple answered a few questions from CoinDesk. Here is an edited version of the interview:

The Complete List: CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2021

How do you make sense of this year?

This year has been INSANE. I have learned an absolutely massive amount about both crypto and the traditional art world. Two areas I knew NOTHING about just over a year ago. The community has been so amazing, though, I feel very honored to be in this position.

What was your biggest success?

Oooo that’s a tough question, but I think I’d have to go with that NFT I sold for $69M. 😉

Name one big plan for 2022 (NFTs or otherwise).

I plan to continue to try to bring as many people to this space as possible and educate them about NFTs and digital art. We are still very, very early and most people do not understand what is happening. I want to show the immense potential this technology has.

How is crypto going to change the world by 2030?

I think we are going to continue to see more and more adoption and full integration of Web 3 into many different facets of the internet. I think things will become more decentralized and thousands of people will have jobs in crypto doing things we’ve never even thought of. And Bitcoin will be at $250K. 😉

(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)

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