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Banksy Artwork Sells for $12M in Sotheby’s First Sale Denominated in ETH

2 mins
Updated by Leila Stein
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In Brief

  • Two Banksy paintings were sold for over $12 million.
  • A DAO also bid on a copy of the United States Constitutions, though it lost out.
  • The occasion marks the first time that Sotheby’s has had sales denominated in ETH.
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British-American auction house Sotheby’s sold two Banksy paintings for just under 3100 ETH, or approximately $12 million. The occasion was a first for the auction house, as it had sales denominated in ETH.

The two paintings, “Love is in the Air” and “Trolley Hunters,” sold for 1696 and 1397 ETH, respectively. The auction house has been accepting crypto payments since May 2021, but this is the first occasion when crypto has been truly at the center of the bidding process.

There are more auctions on the horizon that the crypto community is keeping tabs on. One of the remaining 13 copies of the United States Constitution was up for sale, which caught attention due to the DAO created to bid on it.

The copy of the constitution sold for a record-breaking $43.2 million for a printed text. Unfortunately for crypto enthusiasts, the DAO did not win the bid. Despite its loss, it proves a successful crowdfunding campaign with over 17,000 individuals banded together to raise 11,600 in ETH.

Sotheby’s not alone as auction houses move into crypto

Auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s have enthusiastically welcomed cryptocurrencies and, particularly, non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Both have made sales using the latter, and the crypto community has lapped it up.

Among the many NFT sales that have taken place include the source code of the World Wide Web as an NFT, which sold for $5.43 million. CryptoPunks and BoredApes have also featured on the platform, with both sales raking in millions.

Sotheby’s was not the only auction house to have live ETH bidding. Christie’s did the same in September 2021, selling rare NFTs for ETH.

Sotheby’s will also host an auction in the virtual space of Decentraland and launch its own NFT marketplace called “Sotheby’s Metaverse.” It plans to host live auctions within this virtual space.

Interest in the metaverse has been heating up for some time. Many established brands and companies are already looking into their involvement, so as not to be left behind. For example, Facebook’s recent move and rebrand to Meta.

What do you think about auction houses adopting crypto? Is it helpful for mainstream adoption? Write to us and tell us!

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...
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