Art auction house Sotheby’s is offering exclusive benefits to its top digital art collectors by offering them free wallets. This has been made possible via its partnership with crypto wallet-maker Ledger.
In this deal, buyers of the most valuable digital art at Sotheby’s will receive a limited edition, co-branded Ledger x Sotheby’s Nano X wallets. This is scheduled to start from 2024. There are also plans for the partnership to soon feature the introduction of a special edition of the Ledger Stax.
Ledger Stax is an advanced way of storing one’s private keys offline on a Secure Element chip. It provides full isolation between the keys and a person’s computer/smartphone, giving them complete control over their assets.
However, the free offer is a limited one as Ledger will only cover the costs of the wallets for a period of one year, as confirmed by its chief experience officer, Ian Rogers. As per Ledger’s website, Ledger Nano X is currently priced at $149 per piece and Ledger Stax is being sold for $279 a piece, excluding taxes.
Additionally, Ledger will also provide “white-glove concierge onboarding” services to Sotheby’s clients. This is aimed at helping them understand the self-custody aspects of digital assets. An educational content series through Ledger Academy will also be offered. This will be published to Sotheby’s Metaverse to give collectors further insight into Web3 concepts, seemingly integrating the clients to Ledger Academy’s educational resources.
Rogers noted: “We want to introduce the next generation of art collectors to the world of web3. Our partnership will fully embrace digital art, cementing its value proposition to make sure that digital artwork, same as physical artwork, is meticulously safeguarded and maintained. Education is important to both Sotheby’s and Ledger, and it’s important collectors know how to protect their digital value.”
Last year, Ledger had launched three NFT collection initiatives to “build the future of digital art”. It featured an NFT art collection, selecting the world’s most talented NFT artists to prepare their inclusion into institutions and museums. It also set up a non-profit NFT endowment fund to support NFT creators and increase their global footprint and an NFT Task Force to ensure that this creative movement is built on true ownership and with security at the core.
Sotheby’s, on the other hand, had moved onto the Web3 domain quite early on, establishing a dedicated NFT and digital art department. It is known for auctioning millions of dollars worth of NFTs. Last year, it reported a $100m in sales of its NFT category. However, 2023 has seen dwindling sales in the NFT sector owing to the continued bear market.
The centuries-old auction house will now tread on the digital art space with higher security standards, thanks to its partnership with Ledger.
Managing director of global fine art and Sotheby’s Metaverse lead, Sebastian Fahey, made a comment on the same saying: “We view Ledger’s hardware wallets as a luxury product and to offer these with Sotheby’s purchasers is also an excellent way to introduce collectors to the concept of self-custody and digital art.
“They may have been curious about how to collect and store digital art securely, but never had the resources in one place to learn more about the value and importance of secure self-custody that Ledger can provide when their hardware is properly used.”