"The crash was equal parts exhilarating and anxiety-inducing to live through in real time," says Jerad Finck, chief executive officer, Cosmic Wire. "We knew there was a lot of interest surrounding the piece, we felt the energy, but had no idea it would be like this. Our server CPU hit 98% within two minutes of starting the auction causing the site to go down, followed by intermittent blips of life over the next several hours with hundreds of millions of hits steadily rolling in. So, we had to call it off because we didn't want legitimate bidders to miss out on this opportunity. We're back up on a designated server and look forward to the auction."
All week, Finck will be joined by "The Queen of Clubhouse" and digital marketing leader,
Banksy's famed Spy Booth mural appeared overnight on a wall in Cheltenham, England in 2014. The street art, featuring three spies with listening devices on either side of an actual telephone booth, mysteriously vanished in 2016. Two of the three eavesdropping spies are thought to be representations of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.
In 2016, art platform Artnet published in an article by Naomi Rea, "Spy Booth was a demonstrably political work, appearing just a stone's throw away from the British Government Communications Headquarters a year after former NSA contractor and notorious whistle-blower Edward Snowden exposed the British intelligence and security organization for mining online and telephone data." Artnet also noted that the Cheltenham Borough Council had "granted the artwork retrospective planning permission and elevated the building to listed status."
Long suspected to have been destroyed, the heads of the three spies have been found and are included in Cosmic Wire's unique and exclusive auction. The winning bidder will receive nine original brick pieces of the wall depicting all three spies' heads, along with provenance documents of ownership, authenticity, chain of custody and a new, one-of-one NFT made from a photogrammetry file created from the remaining bricks.
"Banksy is one of the most infamous and provocative artists of our generation,” says Finck. “The fact that Cosmic Wire is involved in this at all is profoundly humbling. We wanted to pay homage to the original Spy Booth, so we created a new piece of digital art based on what remains of the wall. We are genuinely excited to play a small part in time capsuling this historic moment in human culture and bringing it back to the people."
Cosmic Wire is partnering with Raiinmaker on the release of six additional Spy Booth-inspired NFTs in support of climate change charities. All the NFT royalty downstream proceeds will be donated to Laudato Tree, American Forests and the Coalition for Rainforest Nations whose mission is to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) to stop deforestation.
"Right now, it's critical that we all step up and do our part to help turn the tide at this important moment with climate change," says J.D. Seraphine, founder, Raiinmaker. "We're honored to support all the important work of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, Laudato Tree and American Forests."
For more information or to make a bid, visit
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