The auction house Sotheby’s is to accept bitcoin and ethereum as payment for artwork sold in its evening sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art next month, according to reports. The move will make Sotheby’s the first fine art auction house to accept cryptocurrency as payment. The auction house has partnered with Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, to enable the payments. Ethereum and Bitcoin will be accepted for the sale of a 1967 Roy Lichtenstein work entitled ‘Drowning Girl’, which has an estimate of around $60m.
Sotheby’s, one of the world’s oldest and largest auction houses, has announced that it will accept major cryptocurrencies as a new payment method at its next auction.
Charles Stewart, CEO of Sotheby’s, said the company will introduce bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) payments in the upcoming Love in the Air Banksy auction. The new payment method will partner with Coinbase, the largest crypto-currency exchange in the United States, Stewart said Tuesday in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box.
It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a while, said the CEO, who noted that Sotheby’s latest move is the next step in exploring cryptocurrencies for physical art, after the company introduced non-tradable tokens, or NFT, earlier this year.
Love is in the Air is an iconic protest work created by British pseudo street artist Banksy. The work will be sold at Sotheby’s contemporary art night auction on the 12th. Mai was sold at an auction in New York, according to Esquire. Bids for the work, which is worth between $3 million and $5 million, will be made in US dollars, with the option to pay the amount in cryptocurrencies.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, global auction houses have increasingly moved into cryptocurrencies in recent months. In February, British auction house Christie’s announced the NFT auction of Mike Winkelman’s digital work Everydays: The first 5,000 days. The sale became an NFT record, with proceeds of nearly $70 million. In October 2020, Christie’s also sold a bitcoin and NFT-themed artwork for over $130,000.
Sotheby’s announcement came amid a major altcoin rally, with Ether reaching a new all-time high above $3,500 on Tuesday.
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