NFT Collector – Cointelegraph Magazine

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Daniel Maegaard, aka Seedphrase, is a digital native collector, musician and patron of the digital arts. Not only does he possess one of the best nonfungible token collections on the planet, but he’s also the owner of the only CryptoPunk with seven traits in the entire 10,000 iconic collection.

Boasting countless NFT grails in his portfolio, Seedphrase is collaborating with Sotheby’s on its Contemporary Discoveries auction, running Feb. 23–March 4. 

The auction features 11 pieces from his collection that are up for sale, alongside nine generative art pieces from GSR’s collection. Included in the 11 are an XCOPY, Hackatao, Coldie and Pak.

The Contemporary Discoveries auction also features physical art from the likes of visual artist and producer Andy Warhol, sculptor Alexander Calder and abstract expressionist painter Robert Motherwell. It’s yet another milestone for NFTs and digital art as it continues to infiltrate the mindshare of traditional art collectors. 

Banking on its reputation to deliver great outcomes for artists and collectors alike, Seedphrase also pointed to Sotheby’s understanding of the digital art space as a big reason he entrusted the organization with the pieces he’s opted to sell. 

“Sotheby’s have shown time and time again that they deeply understand the digital art space with their attentive eye on key trends and curatorial taste. This has consistently resulted in great outcomes for both artists and collectors due to fair valuations and enforced creator royalties. It was an easy decision to work with Sotheby’s on the sale of these iconic digital works,” says Seedphrase. 

Seedphrase’s mouth-watering collection and NFT journey

Originally jumping into crypto in 2013, Seedphrase made the leap to NFT exploration in 2018 and has a mouthwatering collection, highlighted by his famous seven-trait CryptoPunk, which he acquired for 85 ETH ($17,837 at the time) on May 20, 2020. 

Also sitting in his wallets are nine Autoglyphs by Larva Labs, three CryptoPunks (including his seven trait Punk) by Larva Labs, 600 Creepz by Overlord, eight Memories of Qilin by Emily Xie, four Anticyclone by William Mapan and one Gazers by Matt Kane.

“Most people know me online and IRL for my seven-traits CryptoPunk. Not only is this particular CryptoPunk rare, but it also holds a lot of sentimental value. I would also say my full set of Autoglyphs are a favorite, as this marked my entrance into on-chain generative art,” Seedphrase tells Magazine. 

“I started collecting crypto in early 2013 when I saw an article on the BBC about the Cypriot financial crisis. This gave me an early understanding of how the traditional banking world worked and the importance of self-custody. Initially, my focus was solely on crypto, but by late 2018, my interests expanded to include spending more time exploring NFTs.”

Over his journey, Seedphrase says it’s often the little things, such as his friendship with artist ThankYouX, that bring him enjoyment and fulfillment. 

“There’s no greater feeling than collecting art that ultimately leads to an incredible and long-lasting friendship. I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Ryan’s (ThanksYouX) astronomical ascent over the years, which led to his solo exhibition with Sotheby’s in 2023.” 

“The way he beautifully melds physical and digital makes his artwork digestible for all audiences. The particular piece that I collected from the Contemporary Day sale always proves to be a conversation starter with my guests from all spheres of life.”

Further generating excitement for the industry he adores is the arrival of devices such as the Apple Vision Pro that promise to further fast-track the evolution of digital identity, something Seedphrase has been passionate about for years. 

“The emergence of the Apple Vision Pro and similar technologies are going to continue to propel digital identity into the mainstream. We already live in a highly digitized world, but soon our day-to-day lives will have a digital fabric that will be overlaid with reality. This means that our real life and digital identities will soon synthesize and become indistinguishable.” 

Sotheby’s ushering in a younger generation of art collectors 

While an open and permissionless space like NFTs doesn’t necessarily need a traditional art house like Sotheby’s, the storied brand has been able to carve out a place within the industry and, on the whole, has generated positive sentiment. 

In June 2023, Sotheby’s made headlines for its Grails II event, which was an auction of NFT art seized from the bankrupt Three Arrows Capital. Grails II included the highly sought-after “The Goose” by Dmitri Cherniak, which was purchased for a whopping $6,215,100 by Punk6529

A promising trend has been that Sotheby’s digital art client profile skews young. Michael Bouhanna, vice president, head of digital art and contemporary art specialist at Sotheby’s, spoke to the discovery. 

“It’s quite impressive when looking at the profile of our clients; they are 10 years younger than the traditional collectors and clients we see in other categories at Sotheby’s,” says Bouhanna. 

“When including digital art sections within our wider contemporary art sales, we see some great crossovers with traditional contemporary art collectors discovering digital art and sometimes bidding. It’s happening the other way around too, and we see NFT and digital art collectors interested in some traditional contemporary artists we offer in these sales.”

“I think down the line that NFT and digital artworks will simply become part of our understanding of contemporary art, and we’ll move away from the distinction between NFTs/digital art and contemporary art.”

As Pudgy Penguins CEO Luca Netz stated on a recent episode of the Bankless podcast, digital collectibles currently only account for 1% of all total collectibles compared to their counterpart physicals at 99%. Netz is banking on the gap between digital and physical closing over the coming decade. Sotheby’s is making a similar bet by continuing to grow its digital art presence among a rich tradition of physical art: 

“Last year we did 50% more sales than the year before. Our 2023 digital art sales of $35 million was a great improvement and an impressive total for a department that is only two years old. I think we’ll be really busy this year because we see the market growing and expect growth until the end of the year, and into 2025.”

Rapid fire Q&A

Favorite 1 of 1 art piece? 

Queeny by Hackatao would be one of my favorite 1/1s. Hackatao is a pioneering digital artist who is known for their distinct style and societal themes.

What’s an under-appreciated NFT project right now, in your opinion?

Themes and Variations by Vera Molnár and Martin Grasser.

Themes and Variations #163 - by Vera Molnar, in collaboration with Martin Grasser
Themes and Variations #163, by Vera Molnar, in collaboration with Martin Grasser.

Are there any up-and-coming artist/s you think people should be paying attention to?

Diewiththemostlikes.

Who are your top three favorite follows on Twitter for NFTs?

Roger Dickerman, Redbeard and 6529

Who’s NFT portfolio do you think has an awesome collection outside of yours?

I’m a big fan of what the team at Curated has put together. They’ve shown to have an exquisite taste for art and culture.

Are you collecting NFTs on other chains?

I’m primarily focused on Ethereum due to the maturity of the ecosystem, but I have dabbled in Bitcoin Ordinals and Solana. However, I do foresee NFTs becoming chain agnostic in the coming years as people focus more on the art and artist rather than the chain itself.

Advice on how to survive crypto in the long run?

Know when to take profits, and don’t succumb to hysteria. Always have a number in your head and stick to the plan. As is true for all markets, crypto is cyclical and it will have boom and bust cycles. Being able to time these market cycles is essential to surviving long-term in crypto.

Greg Oakford

Greg Oakford

Greg Oakford is the Head of Growth & Partnerships for Upside DAO, a leading Australian crypto & web3 co-working hub and investment fund. He is an avid NFT collector and the co-founder of NFT Fest Australia. Prior to crypto, Greg was a marketing and sponsorship specialist in the sports industry working on professional events.





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