The art dealer Sotheby’s now accepts Bitcoin and Ether as payment methods. The first offering to test the reaction is Banksy’s Love is in the Air, which features a masked man throwing flowers.
This is made possible through the partnership with Coinbase, which has developed a bespoke solution to make this possible. Stefan Pepe, Chief Technology Officer at Sotheby’s, said that the company is improving the customer experience and is also addressing a whole new clientele. The move is another step towards mainstream cryptocurrency.
“Leveraging the trusted Coinbase exchange is a natural evolution and is in line with our commitment to improving our customers’ shopping experience and developing new ways to expand our customer base by meeting them where they are.”
Bitcoin as a payment method
Speaking to CNBC, Charles Stewart, CEO of Sotheby’s, said that accepting cryptocurrencies is something the company has been thinking about for a while.
Stewart mentioned that the positive response to his recent Pak NFT auction, which raised a total of $ 16.8 million, gave the incentive to investigate cryptocurrency adoption for physical art.
“This is the first time that cryptocurrency has been accepted as a means of payment for physical works of art. We are very pleased that this is possible. We have been thinking about this for a while. You may recall that we had our first NFT sale a few weeks ago. We had over 3,000 bidders and participants in this sales series. ”
The first piece to test the water is Banksy’s Love is in the Air. Stewart said buyers can also pay cash if they wish. He estimates the piece to be between $ 3 million and $ 5 million net.
“Banksy, as you may know, was a very popular auction artist. And there is great interest in his work, also to be paid with physical money. But what better combination to introduce crypto than an iconic Banksy painting? ”
Bitcoin bull Anthony Pompliano stepped in and soon said any company would accept the currency of the future, not cash.
Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
Banksy is a pseudonymous street performer whose true identity remains unconfirmed and much has been speculated about.
He became known in the 1990s and follows a subversive, satirical style that expresses anti-war and anti-authoritarian themes. His works of art are publicly exhibited, for example on walls or misappropriated props. These are often resold, with walls being removed in most cases.
The artist unofficially sells a limited number of pieces through an agency called Pest Control.