Sotheby’s announced that it will accept bids live in the Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency for works by the artist Banksy at an auction on 18 November.
This is the first time a cryptocurrency will be used as the standard currency for bidding on physical artworks in real-time during a live auction, the auction house said in a statement. Viewers from across the globe will be able to follow the livestreamed broadcast of the auction across Sotheby’s social media channel.
The auction, titled “The Now Evening Auction”, features Banksy’s “Trolley Hunters” and “Love Is In The Air”.
While bidding increments for both works will be announced in ETH, the winning bidders will have the option of paying in fiat currency or in the three cryptocurrencies accepted by Sotheby’s, which are ETH, Bitcoin (BTC) or USD Coin, the auction house said.
Sotheby’s said it became the first auction house to accept cryptocurrency as payment for a physical work of art, when a separate painting by Banksy was offered in the May 2021 Contemporary Evening Auction.
However, competing auction house Christie’s was the first to accept ETH as payment in a CryptoPunks auction it held last May, according to Cointelegraph.
Christie’s also auctioned off Beeple’s “The First 5000 Days” for over US$69mln.
The Phillips auction house accepted ETH and BTC in its auction for Banksy’s “Laugh Now Panel A”, which sold for over US$3mln last June.