Sotheby’s, the world's largest auction house, accepts cryptocurrencies for physical art. The first auction to accept bitcoin and ether is Banksy & # 39; s Love is in the Air at the evening contemporary art auction. The piece is expected to sell for $ 3 to 5 million.
Sotheby’s accepts Bitcoin and Ether
Sotheby’s announced on Tuesday that cryptocurrency would be accepted through Coinbase. According to the auction house, cryptocurrencies will be accepted for payments for physical art for the first time.
Sotheby & # 39; s was founded in 1744 and described itself as the world's largest marketplace for art and luxury. With a network of specialists from 40 countries and 44 departments, "we hold over 600 auctions a year and offer a cross-category selection of items that can be purchased immediately via digital and physical shopping experiences as well as private sales," says the website. Artprice.com rates Sotheby’s number one auction house based on sales, followed by Christie's.
Charles Stewart, CEO of Sotheby's, confirmed on CNBC Tuesday:
This is the first time cryptocurrencies have been accepted as a means of payment for physical works of art, and we are very excited that it is possible.
He admitted that "we've been thinking about this for a while." The CEO said: “We had our first NFT (Non-Fungible Token) sale a few weeks ago. We had over 3,000 bidders and participants in this sales series. Stewart added that the popularity of this sale "really made us think we need to take this next step and start accepting crypto as a means of payment for physical art."
Coinbase announced Tuesday that Sotheby’s will accept Bitcoin and Ethereum in order for Banksy’s Love to be in the air at their evening contemporary art auction. Coinbase Commerce was selected as an integration partner. According to Sotheby's CEO, the piece is expected to sell for $ 3 million to $ 5 million.
The Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange has worked out the following:
With a tailor-made solution, Coinbase supports eight-digit payments on the Sotheby & # 39; s website and also helps to cope with price fluctuations.
"The May 12 auction will be held in USD, but buyers and artists will have the option to trade in either crypto or fiat currencies," Coinbase clarified.
When asked if Sotheby's cryptocurrencies will be left on its balance sheet, the CEO stated that his company had reached an agreement with the owner and shipper of the painting and that it was ultimately up to them. However, he noted that with the partnership with Coinbase, the retention of cryptocurrencies was also a "possibility".
A digital work of art titled "Everydays" by American artist Mike Winkelmann, aka Beeple, sold for $ 69,346,250 at Christie's in March. It was the first non-fungible token (NFT) ever offered by Christie.
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