An NFT portrait of Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg just sold for $12,773

An NFT portrait of Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg just sold for $12,773

An NFT portrait of Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg just sold for $12,773.

A non-fungible token (NFT) portrait of Senator Andrew Bragg sold for almost $13,000 last night as the Liberal politician continues his campaign of crypto evangelism.

Created in collaboration with well-known artist, writer, angel investor and creative director Joan Westenberg, the token was listed on global NFT platform OpenSea as part of a wider campaign by the senator to publicly support the Australian cryptocurrency community.

After bidding closed last night, the NFT sold for 2.9 Ethereum, which translates to roughly AU$12,773.

While the sum may not compare to frothy sales in recent years, with art attracting bids of more than $88 million, the proceeds will go to a worthy cause. 

Bragg will donate the funds to The Dreaming Foundation, a First Nations advocacy group that invests in Aboriginal-led organisations, programs and initiatives.

Among those that contributed at the auction was a user named “Coinstash CEO” who bid the equivalent of US$3400 ($4542) for the NFT.

Brisbane-based crypto exchange Coinstash was founded in 2017 and currently boasts about 10,000 registered users. 

The sale follows a raft of measures taken by Senator Bragg to advocate for his vision of Australia as an epicentre of crypto and a leader in digital technology. 

Beyond leading the Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre, which resulted in proposed legislation to govern the crypto sector, Bragg has been actively involved in conversations with business leaders as Australia’s crypto sector evolves. 

In March, Bragg launched a podcast with Finder founder Fred Schebesta called ‘House of Tech’ that seeks to cover “the cross-section of policy and business”.

The Senator also spoke at Blockchain Week, the annual conference held to grow Australian crypto organisations. 

His advocacy comes amid a crypto boom in Australia, with startups such as gaming and NFT platform Immutable skyrocketing to billion-dollar valuations, and more funding pledged for investment into the sector.

This week Visa announced it was launching a program to assist arts practitioners understand and gear up to generate income from NFTs.

“This NFT is more than just a sign of good faith in the emerging industry, it’s a commitment to the artists that I will be advocating for them in Canberra,” Bragg said of the project. 

“We know that digital assets and blockchain are rapidly growing and will be a huge part of our future, we need to create a framework that attracts talent and keeps them here.” 

Westenberg says the Senator’s active involvement has been seen as a sign of good faith by crypto entrepreneurs and startups. 

“As somebody who is a big part of the Australian tech ecosystem myself, I recognise how important it is to have that support from Canberra,” Westenberg tells SmartCompany

The collaboration came about when Bragg reached out to ask how regulatory activity was being perceived by people who were in the space. 

“We saw an opportunity to do something cool together in NFTs,” she says. 

“We thought, if we can create the first NFT at an Australian auction that’s going to be a great way to raise some money for charity, raise the profile of the conversation about The Dream Foundation, and also contribute to that ongoing discourse about crypto in Australia.” 

As an entrepreneur who supports themselves through business projects in crypto, Westenberg says she sees the Senator’s actions as reflective of a desire to see crypto startups and other businesses be truly sustainable. 

“This is a politician who has deep influence in the regulation that will shape this space, who is basically…passionate enough about innovation to actually get hands on with it and get involved with it.

“It’s significant because it’s the first example of a politician really, anywhere that I can think of actually becoming a part of the crypto ecosystem.” 


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