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$70m digital artwork’s mystery buyer is Singapore-based desi | India News – Times of India

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The art world was left scratching its head on who forked out $69.3 million for what is essentially a JPG file made by Mike Winkelmann, the digital artist known as Beeple, in a Christie’s auction on Thursday.
Now, the mystery seems to have been solved with the buyer turning out to be a Singapore-based coder of Indian origin, who paid for it with cryptocurrency, and goes by the pseudonym Metakovan.
Metakovan, who is of Tamil descent, is the founder of Metapurse, a fund that collects non-fungible tokens or NFTs. NFTs signal ownership and authenticity of digital art by recording the sale through blockchain technology.
Metakovan describes himself as a crypto native who did not have a bank account till recently and still does not own a house or car, according to a recent interview. He started in cryptocurrency in 2013 when Bitcoin was about $100.
The coder was given the name Metakovan by his mom. “When I was describing what I was doing, she came up with the name… Metakovan means king of meta in Tamil.” The buyer, who did not reveal his name or which city he came from, told an interviewer on Clubhouse that he had lived briefly in Canada, then North America till 2017 but left because of “unclear regulations and tax”. He is now based in Singapore. “My favourite place is my hometown. I almost feel like I am in exile, I don’t get that luxury to live with my mom, I don’t get that food… but we want to create something huge,” he says.
A history buff and a movie producer in the real world, Metakovan feels that NFTs could help redistribute wealth in the world. “It is technology that brings change like the discovery of oil. When some new technology comes up, there is a possibility of redistribution of wealth,” he says.
Quoting Thiruvalluvar, he says, “I believe in good virtues. Just as a lotus in a pond rises up when lifted by a flood of water, similarly, people with good virtues rise up.”
The New York Times reported that Metakovan’s fund was acquiring a wide variety of NFTs. “We see NFTs as a larger space; there are so many different kinds,” Metakovan, who started his collection in 2016 by buying land in virtual worlds, told NYT. In 2019, he paid about $111,000 in an auction for “1-1-1”, the first digital car for the blockchain game F1@Delta Time. It was the highest price NFT sold that year. Last December, Metakovan’s collection also acquired a complete collection of 20 Beeple NFT works.

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