Coinbase to handle Bitcoin and Ether for Sotheby’s $3M Banksy auction

Arms holding auction paddles featuring Bitcoin and Ethereum logos and Coinbase brand colours

Sotheby’s has partnered with crypto exchange Coinbase as it prepares to accept Bitcoin and Ethereum for an upcoming Banksy auction.

Coinbase announced the move on Tuesday with the pair’s first sale — Banksy’s Love is in the Air — set for next Thursday (May 13).

The Banksy auction will be the first time a major auction house has accepted crypto for a physical artwork. However, the winning bidder will also have the option to pay in US dollars.

“Cryptocurrency Accepted,” but Bitcoin and Ethereum don’t feature in the currency converter.

In March, Sotheby’s chief exec Charles Stewart told the Wall Street Journal he was interested in allowing collectors to make and receive payments with crypto.

And so, Coinbase’s role will mostly relate to supporting the potential crypto payment for the Banksy auction. Sotheby’s expects to Love is in the Air to attract somewhere in the region of $3-5 million.

Coinbase also says it will “manage price fluctuations” in the event the auction’s winner wants to use crypto.

‘Crypto’ and ‘Banksy auction’ do kinda go together.

[Read more: Beeple NFT tops almost every ‘Old World Masters’ ever auctioned]

Sotheby’s already has some experience in the crypto space. Last month, the New York auction house sold a collection of NFTs by cult digital artist Pak for $17 million.

Although, that’s considerably less than the $69 million Beeple collage auctioned by rival Christie’s.

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