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Auction house Sotheby’s to accept BTC and ETH via Coinbase

  • Sotheby's will accept BTC and ETH as payment for a physical artwork
  • The auction house has partnered with Coinbase Commerce to facilitate crypto payments
  • Sotheby’s is expanding its presence in the crypto space

Leading auction houses have been auctioning and selling nonfungible token (NFT) artworks over the past few months. They are now going a step further by accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for their artworks.

Sotheby’s now accept cryptocurrencies

Centuries-old auction house Sotheby’s has announced that it has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to accept bitcoins (BTC) and Ether (ETH) a payment for its physical artwork. This latest development comes after the auction house began auctioning and selling NFTs.

Coinbase announced this via a blog post yesterday. “In another step toward bringing cryptocurrency mainstream, Sotheby’s announced they would accept bitcoin and ethereum for Banksy’s Love is in the Air image at their Contemporary Art Evening Auction. Coinbase Commerce was selected as the integration partner,” Coinbase wrote.

Sotheby’s will start with Banksy’s Love is in the Air image and will only accept BTC and ETH for this auction. The auction house said the acceptance of cryptocurrencies via Coinbase Commerce is an important step towards leading the art market in adopting blockchain technology.

Sanchan S Saxena, VP of Product, Ecosystem at Coinbase, said the crypto exchange is proud to provide Sotheby’s with the payment solution. “This is an example of an enterprise that is evolving with their client base to cater to crypto-forward consumers,” he added.

The auction house believes that the endorsement of cryptocurrencies will pave the way for further adoption across its auctions. Stefan Pepe, Sotheby’s Chief Technology Officer, said, “Leveraging the trusted exchange Coinbase is a natural progression and is in line with our dedication to enhancing our client buying experience and developing new ways to expand our client base by meeting them where they are.”

Sotheby’s getting more involved in the crypto space

Sotheby’s is expanding its presence in the cryptocurrency space. Last month, it sold its first NFT for approximately $17 million. The NFT, titled “The Fungible,” was auctioned on NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway during a two-day sale. Sotheby’s intends to host more NFT auctions and become more involved in the crypto and blockchain space.

Sotheby’s is not the only leading auction house that is into cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Christie’s auction house sold the Beeple NFT for nearly $70 million, the highest amount ever paid for a nonfungible art. The auction house is also accepting cryptocurrencies for some of its artwork.

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