Sotheby’s digital art division revealed plans to auction pieces from the BitcoinShrooms collection, a project crafted by artist Shroomtoshi. The collection, minted on-chain in October, is hailed as the “first-ever Ordinals collection,” according to both the BitcoinShroom website and its associated account.
Within the BitcoinShrooms collection, a rich tapestry of references unfolds – encompassing iconic Bitcoin memes and intricate technical concepts. Described by Sotheby’s as a visual symphony capturing Bitcoin’s essence from a seasoned perspective, the collection comprises various pieces symbolising Bitcoin’s evolution.
Scheduled from 6 to 13 December, the auction will showcase three available pieces. The ensemble comprises two shroom individuals and a pixelated avocado seed named BIP39 – a nod to the mnemonic code standard used for seed phrases. Anticipated bids range between $20,000 to $30,000, with the auction house accepting cryptocurrency bids as well.
Shroomtoshi provided insight into the collection’s essence, describing it as a pixelated homage to Bitcoin’s initial 13 years. Reflecting an 8-bit art style with a dash of 90s nostalgia, the collection serves as a tool to spotlight Bitcoin’s core principles while offering a creative stance on its evolution and occasional missteps.
Comprising over 200 pieces, the collection reveres Bitcoin’s history through varied depictions. These include symbolic representations of a private key, references to Mt. Gox, anonymity portrayed by an enigmatic figure, and illustrations of a ‘fiery’ hot wallet. Additionally, iconic characters from franchises like Batman, Iron Man, Wall-e, and Super Mario seem to make an appearance.
Shrouded in anonymity, Shroomtoshi’s identity remains undisclosed, adding intrigue to the artist’s enigmatic persona. Sotheby’s head of digital art, Michael Bouhanna, teased the auction with AI-generated images showcasing a fusion of mushrooms and Bitcoin. The auction marks a significant milestone as Sotheby’s ventures into selling Ordinals for the first time.
Ordinals on the Bitcoin blockchain share conceptual similarities with NFTs, employing the Ordinals protocol to encode data onto individual satoshis. These distinctive digital assets encompass art, collectibles, and various forms of content.
The emergence of Ordinals has sparked a rekindled interest in the NFTs space, noted by analysts from JPMorgan by the end of November. Subsequently, exchanges like Binance and OKX have embraced Ordinals trading, indicating a growing acceptance of this novel protocol within the cryptocurrency domain.
The fusion of artistic expression, historical references, and the integration of Bitcoin’s journey into the BitcoinShrooms collection presents a unique perspective on digital art in the blockchain realm. However, the anonymity surrounding the artist and the burgeoning curiosity around Ordinals’ potential impact continue to add layers of intrigue to this evolving landscape.