Phillips, one of the country’s most prestigious auction houses, has announced that it will accept Bitcoin or Ethereum as payment for the upcoming sale of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artwork collection in May.
The collection, named Untitled, 1982, is a 16-foot painting that was completed in 1982, according to available evidence. This amazing work came from a tiny series done in Modena, Italy, and it was the watershed year that catapulted the artist to international fame.
Untitled featured as a centerpiece in several major retrospectives and graced the cover of the artist’s 1996 catalogue raisonné. It has subsequently become one of the most recognizable instances of Basquiat’s avant-garde approach. Its uniqueness confirmed when it achieved a new world auction record for the artist in 2016, inspiring renewed market interest in his work.
The collection costs at around $70 million, making it one of the most valuable art collections in history.
Buyers are growing interested in utilizing cryptocurrency to pay for traditional artworks, according to Scott Nussbaum, a Senior International Specialist of 20th Century & Contemporary Art at Phillips.
He claims that traditional art industry interest in bitcoin and NFTs is fast expanding. Despite the fact that no one can foretell the future, they believe the convergence of digital and traditional art will continue to thrive.
This payment method is only available for this Basquiat collection right now. Nussbaum did say, though, that Phillips could expand its crypto adoption to other artworks at a later date. This is because the acceptance of cryptocurrency as a form of payment will only grow in the future.
Philips is notable for being one of the first auction houses to accept cryptocurrency payments. For an auctioned Banksy piece in 2020, the renowned auction house took about $3 million in cryptocurrency.
Auction Houses Accept and Auction Crypto
As crypto becomes more ubiquitous, auction houses are one of the few businesses that have fully adopted the digital asset payment method. It not only takes it as payment but also auctioning NFTs.
Last year, it claimed that 78 percent of the bidders at Sotheby’s NFT auctions were first-timers. Aside from that, the auction house reported that it had made roughly $100 million in sales. Sotheby’s assisted in the auctioning of rare gems and the United States of America’s first constitution.
The auction firm made headlines recently after a failed sale of 104 CryptoPunk NFTs. It was due to a last-minute withdrawal by the owner.
Christie’s, situated in the United Kingdom, is another auction house that has completely embraced the embryonic crypto business. In 2021, it recorded six-figure sales for NFT and other auctions.
Beeple’s EVERYDAY series and HUMAN ONE were auctioned off by the auction house. Both sold for world-record prices of $69 million and $29 million.