The SBI Art Auction, under the umbrella of SBI Holdings, will conduct Japan’s first NFT auction on October 30, local media outlets reported on Thursday.
The auction titled “NFT in the History of Contemporary Art: a Curated Sale by Hiroki Yamamoto” will be held at the “Hillside Forum” in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. On the auction day, eight lots of NFTs will be exhibited with cultural researcher Hiroki Yamamoto as the curator of the auction.
While NFTs have been gaining popularity in overseas markets such as North America, Japan is not too far behind as many exchanges including GMO, Coincheck, and LINE have launched NFT marketplaces.
SBI is also working to expand its NFT-related business by acquiring Smart App that operates the NFT marketplace “nanakusa”.
As part of this auction, SBI has collaborated with blockchain company Startbahn to provide the relevant blockchain infrastructure. Startbahn has developed the technology to issue blockchain certificates for digital art and the blockchain infrastructure “Startrail” for NFT distribution.
The eight NFTs exhibited include prints and sculptures by Tokyo-based visual artist Sputniko.
According to a spokeswoman for the SBI Art Auction, the NFT work for the auction is based on Polygon, the second layer solution for the Ethereum blockchain. The winning bidder will acquire the NFT(s) using a wallet for digital tokens such as MetaMask.
Users can also participate in the auction online and by phone. According to the company’s spokesperson, an estimated 40% of the winning bidders are overseas residents. In addition to east Asian countries such as South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, bidders are participating in the auction from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany.