New York-based auction house Sotheby’s will begin accepting digital currencies as payment for physical artwork. Charles F. Stewart, CEO of Sotheby’s, released this news during an interview on May 5, noting that the auction house would accept Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) for Love is in the Air, the most recent work of art. famous on British Street. artist by the name of Banksy. Sotheby’s reportedly partnered with the Coinbase Exchange to accomplish this feat.
In the interview, Stewart said that this would be the first time that both BTC and ETH have been accepted as payment for physical art and that Sotheby’s was excited to facilitate the auction. He added that the auction house has been considering hosting a crypto auction for quite some time. Explaining the change in sentiment, he cited the success of Sotheby’s first NFT sale a few weeks ago.
Looking for quick news, tips, and market analysis? Sign up for the Invezz newsletter today.
According to him, the auction went well, attracting more than 3,000 bidders. In the context of the successful sale of NFT, the auction house decided to consolidate its entry into the nascent space by also accepting crypto for physical art.
Leveraging a new and broader audience
In response to whether Sotheby’s will keep the ETH or BTC it receives from the sale of the Love is in the Air painting, Stewart said the auction house has an agreement with the recipient of the artwork and a decision to keep the crypto or convert it to fiat. the coins is ultimately up to Banksy. However, the partnership with Coinbase not only gives the auction house the ability to process the payment, but also the ability to hold cryptocurrencies.
From Sotheby’s point of view, a large new audience is becoming interested in the art industry after the introduction of NFTs. As such, the auction house is trying to see if the sale of physical artworks for crypto will have the same reception. Sotheby’s intends to continue to support crypto payments. However, the auction house’s final decision will be based on how the next Love is in the Air sale will play out.
Although the partnership with Coinbase seeks to expose more crypto adopters to the art industry, Stewart noted that crypto is not the only payment method. He said buyers can also pay for the painting in cash, adding that it is worth about 2.17 to 3.61 million pounds.