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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

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Mar 25, 2021 - Economy & Business

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 2 hours ago - Sports

Swimmer Chase Kalisz first American to win Olympics gold medal

Chase Kalisz of Team United States celebrates after winning the Men's 400m Individual Medley Final on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Swimmer Chase Kalisz became on Sunday the first Team USA Olympian to win gold at the Tokyo Games.

The big picture: The Rio 2016 silver medalist's winning time in the men's 400 meters Individual Medley Final was 4 minutes 9.42 seconds. His teammate Jay Litherland took silver .86 seconds later.

California's largest wildfire razes homes as 88 huge blazes burn in U.S.

Firefighters on the scene as dozens of homes burn during the Dixie Fire in the Indian Falls neighborhood of unincorporated Plumas County, California, on July 24. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Flames from California's biggest wildfire were engulfing homes in the state's north overnight — one of 88 large blazes raging in the U.S.

Driving the news: The Dixie Fire, which erupted July 14 near the origin of the deadly 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County, was tearing through the community of Indian Falls in the neighboring Plumas County, per AP.