In a world-first side-by-side auction format, Steve Jobs‘ handwritten 1973 job application will test the value of the NFT (non-fungible token) market, pitting the digital version of the application against the original physical asset in a bidding war to set a benchmark for the burgeoning blockchain-backed trade.
Five decades following Job’s first job application, the tech industry, which he immensely transformed throughout his trailblazing career, now sits at a modern cornerstone, where the perceived value of “physical” and “digital” equivalents is up for debate. The two editions of the up-for-auction job application are virtually identical; the only difference is the medium by which they are being sold. For the first time, investors will have the opportunity to set a precedent for the value of both physical and NFT-backed assets in the same auction.
“The Steve Jobs hand-written 1973 job application auction aims to highlight the modern shift in perceived value – the physical or the digital,” said Olly Joshi, digital entrepreneur and founder of the NFT vs. physical auction, in a release. “Testing this with a piece of history from arguably the most influential tech entrepreneur of our time, is very special.”
“Will this open a whole new market for decentralized collectibles, or will we see a world in which both can coexist? As Steve Jobs asked us many times, is it time to ‘think different’? Whatever the answer, the digital and art worlds will be watching with anticipation. We believe this will be a massive proof point for NFTs and their role in culture,” he added.
The NFT was created in collaboration with Rarible — a pioneering NFT marketplace that provides a platform for digital creators to issue and sell custom crypto-powered assets — and will be available to purchase with Ethereum. The physical copy, which previously sold for a whopping $222,400 USD in a Charterfields Auction, will be sold through Snoofa, an auction software company.
The auction will begin on Wednesday, July 21, at 9:41 a.m. PDT — an homage to the exact time Jobs would unveil a new product during Apple’s launch events and the time featured on the clock app — and end on Wednesday, July 28, at 2:00 p.m. PDT. Bids can be placed via the auction’s official website.
Ahead of the auction’s launch, HYPEBEAST spoke with Joshi about the path-forging auction, the future of NFTs, and his hopes for the outcome of the upcoming bidding war. Read what the founder of the world’s first NFT vs. physical auction had to share below.
HYPEBEAST: Why did you want to run these two sales side by side?
Olly Joshi: To date, the most commonly asked question around NFTs is: ‘Do they represent real value or is it just a bubble?’. We are putting the two assets side-by-side to challenge this notion of value. We truly believe the value can co-exist in both the physical AND digital format of a rare collectible. If it exists in the real world as a 1 of 1 item, then why can’t it in the digital world (the metaverse)? This auction is the first of its kind which will put this theory to the test.
Do you think there’s still momentum behind the NFT market?
Absolutely — this is just the beginning. We are seeing really exciting new projects/NFTs launching on a regular basis at the moment. To name a few: Damien Hirst’s ’The Currency’ and the Tim Berners-Lee WWW source code. If you look at the price of Bitcoin on 30th May 2021 ($34,775) and compare this to 30th June 2021 ($35,968) it shows minimal growth. Then, looking at total value of sales in the NFT market in the same period: on the last week of May 2021 there were sales of $35M compared to the last week of June 2021 with sales of $78M. Showing that NFT sales has more than doubled in a period when the wider crypto market isn’t showing significant growth. There may be some way to go, however we are still at the bottom of the curve.
What do you hope will be the result of this sale? Is there anything you’re hoping to prove?
We are hoping to prove that value can indeed co-exist in both the physical and the digital as separate assets. We feel this will be a case study that will change the physical collectibles market forever.
In another crypto update, Damien Hirst unveiled his first series of 10,000 hand-painted works as NFTs last week.
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