Christie’s Auction House Set to Accept Crypto as Payment

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In Brief
  • Christie’s is to auction off Beeple digital artwork.

  • The auction house will accept payment in Ethereum through Gemini exchange.

  • The auction comes after the $3.5m sale of previous Beeple NFTs.

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British auction house Christie’s looks set to accept cryptocurrency as it auctions off Beeple’s ‘Everydays: The first 5,000 Days’.

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Auction houses may not be the first place you think of when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption. Until now, they preferred to accept fiat currency for purchases. However, British auction house Christie’s will be allowing the winner of Beeple’s latest non-fungible token (NFT) to be paid for using Ethereum

Christie’s Auction House Looking into Crypto

The digital piece is the first of its kind to be on offer at the prestigious auction house. Christie’s has become synonymous for auctioning off some of the most expensive possessions in the world. One such example is the 14.62 Carat Oppenheimer blue diamond which sold for a world record £39.5m.

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The auction house was founded in 1766 and will look to make its foray into the digital asset class with digital artist Beeple. Beeple is well known for producing digital art on platforms such as Instagram. 

The artist will have his piece titled ‘Everydays: The First 5,000 Days’ auctioned off at Christie’s. 

What’s more exciting than having a well known digital artist auction off his NFT at one of the biggest auction houses in the world? Accepting cryptocurrency as payment for the winner of the auction.  

Christie’s will be accepting Ethereum as payment for the auction. This makes it the first time that the British auction house accepts an NFT to auction as well as the first time it accepts cryptocurrency as payment. 

The single lot sale will be running from Feb. 25 to Mar. 11. The purely digital art work represents a pixelated collection of over 5,000 images collated together since May 1, 2007.

Beeple Popularity Goes Mainstream

Christie’s commented on the move, stating that Ethereum is a popular payment method for NFT’s. “It’s the perfect opportunity to explore cryptocurrency because we have the perfect seller who is happy to receive payment in ETH,” Said Noah Davis from Christie’s New York.

Christie’s also commented on the fact that the seller, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, expressed excitement about receiving payment in Ethereum. The auction house also stated it would be making use of the Gemini exchange to conclude the sale. 

Beeple has previously auctioned off artwork through Nifty Gateway, a marketplace for digital works. The artist sold 20 pieces of digital artwork for $3.5 million in December 2020. Christie’s expressed that this was a “clarion call for us”. 

The eventual winner of the Beeple NFT will receive “a long series of numbers and letters that resides in a digital wallet,”. The winner will also receive “a giant jpeg that represents the spirit of the artwork” said Christie’s.

It is not clear if the foray into cryptocurrencies for the auction house is a long term plan. But it is a step in the right direction for cryptocurrency adoption. 

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Ryan is a Fintech specialist with a passion for cryptocurrencies and blockchain adoption. A keen trader and investor in the market since 2016, he enjoys keeping up to date with the latest developments within the industry while finding the next 100x altcoin.

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