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Zenger

Easely-Y Fooled: Thousands Of NFTs Bought By Art Lovers Now Virtually Worthless

A cache of thousands of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of The Kiss by Gustav Klimt sold to art lovers are now worth a fraction of their purchase price after prices crashed by 87 per cent.

The sale of the non-fungible tokens brought the Belvedere Museum in Vienna millions of euros in profit.

But just months later the digital images are now worth a fraction of their sale price following a worldwide crash in cryptocurrencies.

The NFTs sold by Beldevere enticed an enormous number of people to invest when they split The Kiss into sections, creating 10,000 unique NFTs that were put up for sale for 1,850 euros ($1,982) each.

Gustav Klimt, “The Kiss (Lovers)”, 1908/1909. (Belvedere, Vienna/Zenger)

In the end, they sold 2,415 of them totaling 4.4 million euros ($4.7 million).

But now the value of those NFTs have been hit by the global crash of all digital assets, and the Klimt NFTs are now on sale on the marketplace Opensea for 0.11 ETH, which is the Ethereum cryptocurrency, meaning they are worth just 220 euros ($235) or a fraction of the original selling price.

The market for artworks as NFTs reached its peak in 2021 when the artist Pak sold his work The Merge on Nifty Gateway for $91.8 million, while 28,983 collectors snapped up 312,686 total units as nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

NFT presentation “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt at the Upper Belvedere. (Ouriel Morgensztern, Belvedere, Vienna/Zenger)

But the market is still continuing to trade, for example, as the Leopold Museum, also based in Vienna, is offering its own artworks as NFTs until May 26th.

In total, 24 digital versions of works by Egon Schiele are being sold at prices even higher than those set by the Belvedere. Depending on the classification, prices range from 499 to 100,000 euros ($534 to $107,153).

Bitcoin, which is the main cryptocurrency dropped to $30,000 a number of times in the last few days, and the lowest prices witnessed by investors this month was around $26,000.

NFT presentation “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt at the Upper Belvedere, from left to right: Farbod Sadeghian, founder of arteQ; Katharina Kraus, managing partner at Donau-Finanz; Stella Rollig, general director of the Belvedere; and Wolfgang Bergmann, chief. (Ouriel Morgensztern, Belvedere, Vienna/Zenger)

In the last month, nearly $500 billion has been wiped from the crypto space.

Scott Minerd, the Chief Investment Officer of Guggenheim Investments, a global asset management company, and the investment advisory division of Guggenheim Partners, has predicted it might fall to $8,000 from its current levels.

If this prediction comes true, Bitcoin would have dropped 88 percent from the all-time high of $69,000 it reached in November 2021.