A renowned US auction house will accept crypto as payment for a series of paintings, demonstrating the art world’s growing acceptance of cryptocurrency. Phillips is auctioning off a Jean-Michel Basquiat collection, and payment alternatives include Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Untitled, 1982, a stunning 16-foot painting, “estimated in the range of $70 million,” according to the auction house (roughly 1650 BTC or 25,513 ETH). Moreover, on the 18th of May, it will be auctioned in New York.
Buyers “show interest in the option of cryptocurrencies as a way of payment for traditional artworks,” according to Phillips’ Scott Nussbaum, Senior International Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art.
Given that “the beauty of Basquiat is his capacity to inspire both seasoned and novice collectors,” allowing “customers to pay with cryptocurrency” is a wise decision. Accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for other services, according to Nussbaum, “will only rise in the future.”
According to Nussbaum:
“The traditional art world’s interest in bitcoin and NFTs is rapidly increasing. And, while it’s impossible to forecast the future, we believe the convergence of the digital and conventional art spheres will only grow.”
It isn’t the first time the auction house has looked at bitcoin
The previous sale was an order of magnitude smaller. However, this isn’t the first time the auction house has looked at bitcoin. Phillips auctioned a Banksy piece in June 2020, accepting payments in Bitcoin and Ether. It fetched around $3.2 million at the time of sale.
Besides, the hammer price for the controversial Beeple NFT auction, which closed in March 2021, is a price objective for the Basquiat of roughly $70 million. Furthermore, the sale handled by Christie’s auction house, which prompted more cryptocurrency-related auction house activity in the future.
Rival auctioneers Sotheby’s accepted real-time ETH bids for a Banksy auction in November 2021. Sotheby’s worked with Coinbase in May of the same year. In order to manage Bitcoin and Ether auctions before taking over cryptocurrency payments in-house.
“There are many new collectors highly engaged in bitcoin,” says Nussbaum. Summarising the cryptocurrencies’ popularity in the art world.
“It was simply a matter of time until it gained traction as a payment option.”