Sotheby’s, one of the oldest and largest auction houses in the world, has announced that it will accept important cryptocurrencies as a new payment method at an upcoming auction.
Charles Stewart, CEO of Sotheby & # 39; s, said the company will debut Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) payments as part of its upcoming Banksy's Love is in the Air auction. The new payment method will be facilitated in collaboration with Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, Stewart stated in an interview with CNBC's Squawk Box on Tuesday.
"We've been thinking about this for a while," said the CEO, explaining that Sotheby's latest move marks the next step in research into crypto payments for physical art after the company made non-fungible tokens (NFTs) earlier this year ) had introduced.
"Love is in the Air" is an iconic work of art on the subject of protest by the pseudonymous street artist Banksy from England. The works will be offered at Sotheby & # 39; s evening contemporary art auction in New York on May 12, Esquire reported. The tender for the work, estimated to be worth between 3 and 5 million US dollars, is in US dollars and offers the option of paying the amount with crypto.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, global auction houses have entered the crypto industry more aggressively in recent months. In February the UK auction house Christie announced an NFT auction of Mike Winkelmann's digital artwork "Everydays: The First 5000 Days". The auction eventually resulted in a record-breaking NFT sale that raised nearly $ 70 million. In October 2020, Christie's also sold a Bitcoin-themed work of art and NFT for over $ 130,000.
Sotheby's announcement comes amid a major altcoin rally with Ether hitting a new all-time high above $ 3,500 on Tuesday.