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3LAU Breaks NFT Auction Record with $11.6M in Sales

3LAU smashed the single NFT auction record on Saturday night after selling $11.6M of NFTs by tokenizing his debut album Ultraviolet in partnership with Origin Protocol.

The bespoke auction portal – – allowed the top 33 bidders to earn exclusive Ultraviolet album NFTs of varying rarities. These tiers ranged from “Platinum” for the top bidder to “Gold” for bidders 2-6 and “Siver” for bidders 7-33. 

The minimum bid for the Silver Tier ended at $65,001 while the top bid for Platinum Tier from the anonymous Bidder65 clocked in at a cool $3,666,666.

Every one of the 332 collectors who placed a bid at any point in the auction also received a participation NFT.

What’s Included?

Winning bidders received special perks like a custom song with 3LAU (platinum only), the right to a limited edition vinyl, and a random assortment of the 11 song NFTs on the album. Each track featured a custom NFT with a different rarity, broken down as follows:

  • Ultra Rare (6)
  • Very Rare (15)
  • Rare (31)
  • Common (75)

In total, 33 Ultraviolet NFTs, 127 song NFTs and 332 participation NFTs were collected as part of the auction.

Origin placed a cooldown window to mint and facilitate NFT transfers following the auction. All NFTs will become transferable within the site and on OpeaSea on Wednesday evening at roughly 6PM PST.

Breaking the Record

Collectors rallied around the new portal which functioned without a hitch. The mechanics extended the auction by three minutes for every bid placed after the scheduled end time of 7PM PST on Saturday night. The auction proceeded for an additional 2 hours, racking up ~$8M in follow on bids during the final window as a bidding war between Bidder65 and Whaleshark Pro ensued.

“I’m excited to help give power back to artists.” 3LAU told The Defiant. “This is the first step in a longer mission to connect artists directly to their fans, and allow artists to capture the value they create in the world.”

3LAU recently published a piece Building the Investible Layer of Music on The Defiant, and was featured on the podcast prior to his last NFT drop, “Everything” in February.

3LAU’s record sale is another sign that artists leaning into the crypto community will be met by dozens of eager collectors like Illestrator, Whaleshark, 888, 0xb1 and SeedPhrase, who ended in the top 10 bidders in 3LAU’s auction.

The Upcoming Music Wave

Success from artists like 3LAU, Grimes, and OGs in the intersection of music and crypto like RAC, is paving the way for a new wave of artists who may want to capitalize on the buzz. 

Outside of bespoke auctions, platforms like Catalog are gearing up to serve a music-specific vertical of NFTs later this month. Zora partnered with IAMSOUND to curate a gallery of NFTs from popular artists like Mura Masa and 88 Rising. OpenSea showcased their first drop with Shawn Mendes and Foundation is rumored to add support for audioNFTs after Jacques Greene sold the publishing rights to his next single using an NFT last week. Mike Shinoda even dropped 10 NFTs for his single “Happy Endings” – sending collectors signed prints as a way to promote the release.

Agencies like Illumino and Six are now planting roots to incubate music NFTs – a sector ripe to replace income lost from touring during the pandemic.

If one thing is for sure, 3LAU channeled the excitement around crypto and music into a life-changing auction that shows artists can (and should) interact directly with their fans. For the artists out there, let this show that your most valuable asset is your community, and $11.6M worth of bids serve as evidence to prove it.