An NFT by Pak, an artist whose work has brought in huge sums at auction and in sales on digital platforms, was sold for 16,593 ETH ($52.7 million) on Wednesday, putting it among the most expensive NFTs ever sold. Titled Clock, the work is being sold to support funding for the legal defense of Julian Assange, who currently faces 18 criminal charges in the U.S., including ones for breaking the Espionage Act.
Clock, which logs the amount of days that Assange has spent imprisoned, was bought by a DAO, a decentralized community of individuals operating as one entity, dedicated to the WikiLeaks founder. On its website, the DAO said it was “rallying to the cause of a fellow cypherpunk in distress.”
Pak, who has never revealed his identity, is well-known within the NFT community for mysterious projects that have sold for the equivalent of millions of dollars. Clock is not the artist’s most expensive work, however—that would be The Merge, which consists of 250,000 NFTs that are programmed to combine with each other upon purchase. That work sold for a collective $91.8 million on Nifty Gateway last year.
The Merge was billed as the most expensive digital artwork by a living artist ever sold at the time, although that label is dubious because the project technically consists of more than one piece. Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days (2021) indisputably triggered an NFT boom after its sale for $69 million last year at Christie’s, however, and Clock fell short of that sum, although it came much closer than other NFTs have.
The news about Clock wasn’t the only major NFT story from the past day. Do Hyung-teh, the CEO of Gallery Hyundai, a juggernaut within the South Korean art scene, announced plans to launch a NFT venture through his company AIT Inc., which he runs with Andrew Ku.