How Beeple Made his $50M Net Worth from Selling NFTs

How Beeple Made his $50M Net Worth from Selling NFTs

Beeple AKA Scott Winkleman is an American digital artist known for creating the grotesque Everydays NFT collection.

How Beeple Made his $50M Net Worth from Selling NFTs
Moriah Costa

Updated Jan 13, 2023

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Mike Winklemann, better known as Beeple, is an American digital artist who has grown to be a major force in the NFT market. His work has been widely celebrated for its unique style and creativity, pushing the boundaries of art, both online and offline. With his Everydays collection of NFTs, Beeple has pushed the cryptocurrency world into mainstream consciousness.

Winkelmann made a fortune when he turned his Everydays digital art project into one montage called Everydays: The First 5000 Days.

Beeple, who has an estimated net worth of around $50 million, is no stranger to art. His career began with a focus on graphic design and video production, but Beeple has since grown to be one of the most popular digital artists in the world.

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So what is Beeple's net worth? How much are Beeple Everydays NFTs worth? What is driving their popularity? And are they a good investment? Try not to wince as we delve into the creepy world of Beeple NFTs.

Who is Beeple?

Beeple, or Mike Winkelmann, is a digital artist, graphic designer, and animator whose work is a commentary on current events, society, and political life. He combines pop culture, technology, and references to the postapocalyptic world to create comical, phantasmagoric works of digital art. He’s a big advocate of blockchain technology as a way for artists and audience members to connect and create experiences. 

Born in 1981 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin as Michael Joseph Winkelmann, the artist studied computer science at Purdue University and was an electrical engineer before becoming a digital artist. Today he is based in North Charleston, South Carolina, and is married with two children.

Beeple's Everdays: The First 5000 Days which sold for a record $69 million in 2021. Source: beeple-crap.com

Winkelmann started making an art piece every day on May 1, 2007, a project he called Everydays. Inspired by Tom Judd, an artist who created a drawing every day for a year, the project has taken many forms and mediums over the years, such as working with specific software like Adobe Illustrator and Cinema 4D.

The digital art collection was produced daily for over 5000 days. It’s this Everydays project that made Winkelmann the creator of one of the most expensive artworks by a living artist ever sold.

Beeple net worth

Beeple’s net worth is an estimated $50 million. This is largely due to his digital art and non fungible tokens (NFTs). Winkelmann started selling NFTs on auction marketplace Nifty Gateway in 2020. One of his first NFTs, Crossroad, was a take on the 2020 U.S. presidential election and sold for $6.6 million in February 2021.

Winkelmann made a fortune when he turned his Everydays digital art project into a montage called Everydays: The First 5000 Days. The NFT was put up for auction at Christie’s London in 2021 and bought for a record $69.3 million by Indian crypto investor Vignesh Sundaresan. It’s still the most expensive NFT ever sold to one person.

Beeple, the visionary digital artist

Beeple uses a variety of mediums to complete his work, but mostly focuses on digital art. His work is dystopian with a political and often satirical take on current events. He likes to explore themes in-depth, such as the obsession with and fear of technology and resentment towards the wealthy.

He’s worked with numerous brands like Apple, Space X, Adobe, Samsung, and more. 

 

Some of his work was used in Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer collection in 2019. Beeple has also created concert visuals and artwork for the likes of Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, and Imagine Dragons.

Beeple's digital art and NFT collections

Besides his digital artwork, Beeple also has created a number of NFT collections, as well as one-off NFT pieces. Beeple is probably better known as a result of his NFTs, which are often blockchain versions of his digital art.

Need a refresher on what an NFT is? In simple terms, an NFT, or non fungible token, represents digital ownership and authenticity of something. NFTs are stored on a ledger called a blockchain, namely networks like Ethereum and Polygon.

Here’s an overview of Beeple’s NFT collections so far:

1. Beeple Everydays Collection

  • Created: December 2022
  • Supply: 721
  • Floor price: 25 ETH
  • High price: 195 ETH


The 2020 collection features pieces from Beeple's Everdays art series. There are three open edition pieces with a few hundred of each minted—'Bull Run,' 'Into the Ether,' and 'Infected Culture.' The collection also includes a number of single editions. The collection was originally sold on Nifty Gateway but some can still be purchased on secondary marketplaces like Rarible.

NFTs recently sold from Beeple's Everydays - The 2020 Collection. 
Source: opensea.io

2. Beeple Genesis collection

  • Created: October 2020
  • Supply: 102
  • Floor price: 88 ETH
  • High price: 420 ETH


Similar to Beeple’s Crossroads piece, the Genesis collection was one of the first tokens sold on Nifty that changed as a result of the 2020 election. At the time of the sale, the buyers didn't know what the final artwork would look like. When Biden won, it became a defecating bull partly painted with the American flag.

NFTs from Beeple's Genesis Collection. 
Source: opensea.io

3. Beeple Spring/Summer Collection 2021 

  • Created: April 2021
  • Supply: 511
  • Floor price: 14 ETH
  • High price: 69 ETH

 

The Spring/Summer Collection 2021 was an expansion of Beeple’s Everdays art project. With 511 items, it features a number of dreamy, ethereal, and pastel-tinted images of a dystopian world complete with flying corpses and robot trees.

NFTs from Beeple's Spring/Summer Collection 2021. 
Source: opensea.io

4. Beeple: Uncertain Future

  • Created: March 2022
  • Supply: unknown
  • Floor price: none
  • High price: none


The Uncertain Future was part of an art gallery exhibition in New York that included digital artwork, drawings, and paintings. The show was a commentary on the role that big tech plays in our lives and how that might play out in the future.
 

A dye print on aluminum, from Beeple's Uncertain Futures collection. 
Image source: jackhanley.com

Are Beeple NFTs good investments?

The value of Beeple’s NFTs has gone down over the last few years in line with broader crypto market trends. Trading volumes and prices of NFTs are down across the board and value has become concentrated in a smaller number of collections.

Take Beeple’s Everydays NFT collection for example. Sales prices of the collection have fallen 99% since March 2021 when the price of a piece spiked to 1833 ETH on the secondary market. Beeple’s Spring/Summer Collection 2021 has been a bit more volatile, but prices have increased over the last three months.

In comparison, sales prices of other popular NFT collections like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club have fallen from their peaks in 2021 and 2022, but prices have recovered over the last 90 days.

Winkelmann has said he's bullish on NFTs over the long term. Still, the digital artist thinks they are valuable, as the interest between the artist and buyer is aligned when it comes to NFTs.

So should you invest in a Beeple NFT? That depends a bit on what your investment goals are. NFT prices tend to be more volatile and fluctuate a lot more than other traditional assets, so it’s best to only consider a limited allocation in NFTs. 

While some NFTs have declined in price, that doesn’t mean they won’t go up in the future. Like any investment, there's risk. Unfortunately, there’s no crystal ball when it comes to investing in NFTs or other assets.

Art collection

Fine art or NFT?

Can NFTs be fine art?

NFTs like Beeple Everydays and Bored Ape Yacht Club have disrupted the fine art world. While NFTs aren’t necessarily considered fine art, that doesn’t mean the two aren’t similar. Some artists create NFTs of their fine art, selling both the digital and physical items.

For example, Winkelmann still owns the copyright of Everydays: The First 5000 Days, so he is able to redistribute it as his own. He also created Human One that came with a corresponding NFT and sold for nearly $29 million in 2021. The digital artist is a fan of NFTs, calling them a way to connect with the audience and ensure that artwork is authentic.

Source: youtube.com/@NVIDIA-Studio 

In some cases, choosing between physical art and an NFT is itself a performance. Damien Hirst burnt thousands of paintings in an art project that pitted traditional art against NFTs. The Currency was a collection of 10,000 paintings of dots on canvas with an accompanying NFT. 

After a year, the owner would have to decide to keep either the painting or the NFT. In the end, 4,851 opted for the NFT and Hirst burned the corresponding canvas pieces.

Interested in owning a piece of fine art like Hirst that won’t be set aflame? Platforms like Mintus and Masterworks let you buy shares of blue-chip art for just a fraction of the price.

Contemporary art by the likes of Basquiat or Warhol outperformed the S&P 500 over the past 25 years and is often used as a hedge against periods of high inflation.

How to invest in NFTs

If you're in the market for a Beeple or other NFTs, there are two main ways to acquire one—through an NFT marketplace or through an alternative investing platform.

With an NFT marketplace like Opensea, you buy NFTs directly from artists and collectors. To purchase an NFT you’ll need to have the right cryptocurrency. Many NFTs are Ethereum-based tokens, which means you’ll need to buy ETH and have a crypto wallet.

If you’re not interested in buying crypto but still want to own an NFT, you can also purchase shares of popular NFTs like CryptoPunks through alternative investing platforms like Public and Rally or marketplaces like Fractional.

With Rally, you can purchase shares of vetted collectibles like vintage comics, a Damien Hirst NFT, Bored Apes, and dinosaur bones.

Public is an investing app that lets you invest in stocks, ETFs, and crypto as well NFTs and other collectibles.

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