- Sotheby’s said it will use ether as the standard currency in a live auction for two Banksy artworks.
- The 277-year-old arts broker said it will be the first to use a cryptocurrency as the standard currency in live bidding for physical artworks.
- Sotheby’s in May auctioned another rendition of “Love Is In the Air” and accepted crypto as payment for the work.
Sotheby’s will accept bids in ether in a live auction for two pieces created by renowned British artist Banksy, with the broker saying the move will mark the first time a cryptocurrency will serve as the standard currency for real-time bidding on physical artworks.
Sotheby’s estimated “Trolley Hunters” value between $5 million and $7 million, and the value of “Love Is In The Air” between $4 million to $6 million.
The upcoming Banksy bids will push the 277-year-old arts broker further into digital assets. In April, it held its first NFT auction, raking in $16.8 million in sales from NFTs created by the artist Pak. NFTs are digital representations of artworks and collectibles that exist on a blockchain ledger.
And in May, Sotheby’s became the first auction house to accept cryptocurrency for physical artwork, taking ether and bitcoin for payment in an auction for a separate rendition of “Love is in the Air”.
“Together, these milestone offerings not only spotlight the artist’s position as the leading disruptor of the art world whose work resonates with the boundary-pushing ethos of the crypto community, but they demonstrate the innovative spirit in which Sotheby’s continues to experiment with and expand the possibilities of the auction format,” Sotheby’s said in a Thursday statement.
It said ether is a “preferred” cryptocurrency in the world of digital art and NFTs, adding that the ethereum blockchain, home of the ether token, is the primary network where NFTs are minted and transactions are registered.
Ether this week hit a record high of $4,878.26, according to CoinGecko, and is the second most-traded cryptocurrency. Its market valuation of $545 billion only trails that of bitcoin’s $1.21 trillion market capitalization.
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