Sotheby’s the popular auction house, announced on 4 May, 2021 that it will accept bitcoin and ETH for the upcoming auction of Banksy’s “Love is in The Air.” Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart told CNBC this breaking news, raising expectations that the company aims to go big in the crypto space.
This follows its entry into the crypto world last month when it sold NFT from digital artist Pak. Definitely, this marks the first time that Soothbye’s accepts payment in cryptocurrency for a physical piece of art.
The sale of artwork involving cryptocurrencies is possible as a result of Soothbye’s partnership with Coinbase, publicised in April this year.
Now another popular artist’s piece of art, Banksy’s “Love is in The Air” created by yet an unknown individual is on sale through an auction on May 12. Bidding for this piece is likely to range between $3 million and $5 million, according to some experts.
CNBC reports that during the auction for Pak’s NFTs, there were more than 3 000 participants. With this collection, sold for $16.8 million, Steward believes that Soothbye’s market is growing, with new art enthusiasts coming on board.
This is not the first time that pieces of art are fetching so high on the market. In March, a digital artwork – “Everydays – The First 5000 Days” by American artist Mike Winkelmann was sold for $70 million. Its significance was that it was the first time that there was a sale of a popular piece of art, at Soothbye’s auction, which did not exist in a physical form.
Significantly, Soothbye’s acceptance of bitcoin and ETH confirms the growing interest in cryptocurrencies by institutional investors. Other popular institutional cryptocurrency investors include Tesla, Square and PayPal, among others.
Now, all eyes await the May 12 auction.