Today, the world’s leading auction house Sotheby’s announced that it would begin accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as payment. Sotheby’s will partner with the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to process payments. (Source: Bitcoin News)
Sotheby’s, the world’s largest auction house, is starting to accept cryptocurrencies for physical works of art. The first auction to accept Bitcoins and Ethers is the painting Love is in the Air by Banksy, in this evening’s contemporary art auction. According to initial estimates, the work will sell for between $3 and $5 million.
Sotheby’s accepts Bitcoin and Ether
On Tuesday, Sotheby’s announced that it would begin accepting cryptocurrencies through Coinbase. According to the auction house, this is the first time cryptocurrencies have been accepted for physical art.
Founded in 1744, Sotheby’s describes itself as the world’s largest marketplace for art and luxury goods. With a network of specialists covering 40 countries and 44 departments, the company organizes more than 600 auctions a year and offers a wide range of goods in different categories for immediate purchase, both digital and physical, as well as for private sale, according to the company’s website. On Artprice.com, Sotheby’s ranks first among auction houses in terms of sales, followed by Christie’s.
Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart confirmed that on CNBC on Tuesday:
This is the first time cryptocurrencies have been accepted as payment for physical artworks, and we are very happy about that.
He confessed: This is something we’ve been thinking about for a while. The CEO also stated: A few weeks ago we held our first NFT [non-playable token] sale. More than 3,000 candidates and participants took part in this series of sales. Stewart added that the popularity of this sale gave us the idea to take the next step and explore accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for physical art.
On Tuesday, Coinbase announced that Sotheby’s will accept Bitcoin and Ethereum for Banksy’s painting Love in the Air at its evening contemporary art auction, and Coinbase Commerce has been chosen as the integration partner. According to the CEO of Sotheby’s, the work is estimated to be worth between $3 million and $5 million.
The Nasdaq-listed crypto-currency exchange says more:
With a bespoke solution, Coinbase will support eight-figure payments at Sotheby’s and also help manage price fluctuations.
The auction of the 12th. The can will be made in U.S. dollars, but the buyer and artist will have the option to trade in cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies, according to Coinbase.
When asked if Sotheby’s would keep the cryptocurrencies on its balance sheet, the CEO explained that his company had an agreement with the owner and consignor of the painting and it would ultimately be up to them. However, he noted that through a partnership with Coinbase, storage of cryptocurrencies is also an option.
A digital work titled Everydays – The First 5,000 Days by American artist Mike Winkelman, also known as Beeple, sold for $69,346,250 at a Christie’s auction in March. It was the first non-playable token (NFT) ever sold at a Christie’s auction.
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