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Following the launch of NFTs earlier this year, Sotheby’s CEO said that Bitcoin and Ether will be the next phase in the company’s crypto acceptance.
Sotheby’s, one of the world’s oldest and largest auction houses, has revealed that significant cryptocurrencies would be accepted as a potential payment form at an upcoming auction.
Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart said that the company will debut Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) payments as part of its upcoming auction of Banksy’s “Love is in the Air.” The new payment method will be facilitated in partnership with United States’ largest cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, noted Stewart in a Tuesday interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box.
“It’s something we’ve been thinking about for quite some time,” the CEO said, adding that Sotheby’s new leap is the next step in the firm’s exploration of crypto payments for physical art, following the debut of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, earlier this year.
“Love is in the Air” is a well-known protest-themed artwork by the pseudonymous English street artist Banksy. According to Esquire, the piece will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on May 12 in New York. The job, which is expected to be worth between $3 million and $5 million, will be bid on in US dollars, with the option to pay in cryptocurrency.
As previously noted by Cointelegraph, major auction houses have been actively entering the crypto market in recent months. Christie’s revealed an NFT auction of Mike Winkelmann’s digital artwork “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” in February. The auction resulted in a record-breaking NFT transaction worth nearly $70 million. Christie’s also sold a Bitcoin-themed art piece and NFT for more than $130,000 in October 2020.
Sotheby’s launch comes in the midst of a massive altcoin surge, with Ether reaching a new all-time high above $3,500 on Tuesday.