Pak’s Nifty Gateway Drop Sets World Record as Largest-Ever Sale by a Living Artist

BY Langston Thomas

December 07, 2021

It’s official, Pak has made history yet again. With the completion of their latest Nifty Gateway drop, the influential creator has set a world record for most money generated by a single artwork publicly sold by a living artist.

Merge — which featured a single open edition NFT available to purchase for $575 — was carried out over a period of two days. The collection opened to the general public at 6:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 2 before closing at the same time on Dec. 4. In those 48 hours, 28,983 collectors spent $91,806,519 on 312,686 total “mass” NFTs.

Similar to Pak’s The Fungible Nifty Gateway collection from April 2021, Merge was surrounded by both speculation and fanfare. Featuring complex drop mechanics designed to allow collectors to accumulate “mass” during the two-day sales period, Pak says the idea for Merge came about through their love for token mechanisms.

“Creating mechanisms is a good way to explore what the new medium can achieve,” Pak tells nft now. “So I decided to design a new open edition mechanism that will balance scarcity through secondary market activity.”

And of course, this intense triumph of a drop would not have been possible without the partnership of Nifty Gateway. Pak says that reuniting with the NFT marketplace giant was undoubtedly the right call, as the Merge drop was “all about reach.”

“One of my challenges in designing the artwork was to make it fit inside a single tweet. The second worry was general public accessibility, where they don’t have to learn about crypto wallets, NFTs, and this world in a few days,” Pak tells nft now. “I wanted new collectors to get in and learn afterward.”

While it seems some were understandably confused about the collection and how it might integrate into Pak’s Burn ecosystem, it didn’t stop the NFT community at large from rallying in support of the unprecedented drop. And to Merge’s enigmatic creator, the community element of this endeavor did not go unappreciated. “We did it as a vast community, and it feels beautiful,” Pak tells nft now. “This is the first, but not the last. Hopefully, it is another paradigm-shifting milestone.”

A breakdown of Merge’s token mechanism displayed on the Nifty Gateway collection page

Pak — who has now broken Jeff Koons’ record for the largest art sale by a living artist — has easily become a posterchild of the NFT space. And as we witnessed NFT sales skyrocket to $10.7B in 2021 Q3 alone, it’s become apparent that while mainstream adoption may be a ways off, the non-fungible community has no plans to break its streak of record-breaking sales. Yet, as far as Nifty Gateway co-founder Duncan Cock Foster is concerned, Merge has made one thing clear: that future is already here.

“We just witnessed the largest ever art sale by a living creator – and it didn’t happen at a traditional auction house, it happened at a web3 platform,” Cock Foster said in a statement. “I would like to extend my infinite gratitude to Pak, who has just cemented themselves as a visionary and one of the greatest artists of all time. We could not be more happy to play a role in supporting them and helping them execute on their vision.”

When asked what they thought about the implications of a sale of this scale happening on a web3 platform, Pak simply replied, “We are here.”

Photos courtesy of Pak & Nifty Gateway.

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