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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The first-ever NFT was minted by artist Kevin McCoy in 2014 — you can see his presentation with technologist Anil Dash here.

Why it matters: While NFTs are regularly talked about as "digital art," few if any of them have much in the way of serious art world credentials.

  • McCoy is an exception. With his wife Jennifer, he has established himself over many years as a first-rate digital artist. One of their works is on display now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • "The NFT phenomenon is deeply a part of the art world," says McCoy. "It emerged from the long history of artists engaging with creative technology."

The first NFT, "Quantum," which can be found here, has the kind of historical importance that is sometimes ascribed to CryptoPunks; it's therefore of interest to crypto investors and other NFT-collecting technologists.

  • The McCoys' work has historically been collected by art collectors, however — the kind of people who deal in genteel transactions with a gallery, rather than entering into public bidding wars.

"Quantum" is for sale, and if rare CryptoPunks can give any indication as to its value, it could fetch $7 million or more. What's not clear is exactly how it will be sold. Says Tamas Banovich, McCoy's gallerist at Postmasters gallery in New York: "We are trying to figure out which world is appropriate."

Go deeper

Ja Rule sells Fyre Festival painting as NFT for $122,000

A portrait of the Fyre Media logo held by rapper Ja Rule sold at auction for $122,000 through the rapper’s NFT venture Flipkick painting, Ja Rule said on Twitter.

Why it matters: Because markets are efficient.

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas — Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. Economy: Report: World's 10 richest men doubled wealth during pandemicAmerica's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  7. Variant tracker

Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19

Photo: Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

State of play: Joint Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said in a statement that Milley — who is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot — is experiencing "very minor symptoms" and is "working remotely and isolating himself."