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Auction House Phillips to Accept Bitcoin for Banksy’s Million-Dollar Painting

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Auction House Phillips to Accept Bitcoin for Banksy’s Million-Dollar Painting
Photo: Phillips / Facebook

The bidding for Banksy’s artwork will happen in Hong Kong Dollars (HKD). But the exchange rate of payments received in BTC and ETH will be taken from Coinbase.

Auction house Phillips is now joining some of its competitors like Sotheby’s and Christie’s by accepting crypto payments. The prestigious British auction house shall be accepting payments in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) against the sale of Banksy’s painting at the upcoming auction in Hong Kong on Tuesday, June 8.

Payment in crypto shall be available for the auction of digital artist Banksy’s ‘Laugh Now Panel A’. Also, the sale has been estimated to be anywhere between $2.8 million and $4.1 million. This is certainly an interesting development on part of auction house Phillips.

Phillips Accepting Bitcoin

Besides, Phillips Asia’s chairman Jonathan Crockett stated that there has been a growing demand from clients to pay in crypto. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Crockett added:

“Over the past few years many have made fortunes in cryptocurrency and so it was only a matter of time before cryptocurrency starts to be used as a payment method for art and other collectibles”.

The bidding for Banksy’s artwork will happen in Hong Kong Dollars (HKD). But the exchange rate of payments received in BTC and ETH shall be referenced from US crypto exchange Coinbase. However, the seller has to bear the risk of the price volatility between HKD and Bitcoin.

Taking with respect to the current downturn in crypto prices, Crockett said:

“Cryptocurrency volatility is a known fact. But there is also a potential upside if the market swings the other way.”

Banksy Trading Artwork across Platforms

Several of Banksy’s artworks have been linked to blockchain and sold against crypto assets very recently. Last week auction house Sotheby’s decided to sell a physical artwork by Banksy. Dubbed “Love is in the Air”, the oil and spray painting sold for a massive US$12.9 million. This was much above its original pricing of US$3 million to US$5 million.

Bank’s “Laugh Now” art is basically an image of a monkey presented in a monochrome stencil style. Around his neck, the monkey wears a sandwich board that says “Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge.”

These days auction houses have largely started accepting crypto to sway investors quite familiar with the asset class.

“With the gains seen in bitcoin and ethereum over the past one year, some investors have made huge amounts of money in cryptocurrencies. For a long time these millionaires have been looking at ways to spend their virtual currency in the real world,” said Olivier Marian, co-founder of Swiss startup Arteïa, speaking to SCMP.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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