Sotheby’s Partners with Coinbase to Accept BTC & Ether for Banksy’s Iconic Painting: ‘Love Is In The Air’

Sotheby’s CEO says they have been thinking about it for quite some time, and “What better combination to introduce crypto than an iconic Banksy painting.”


Auction house Sotheby’s has collaborated with Coinbase Commerce to accept cryptocurrencies for the iconic protest painting “Love is in the air” of famed artist Banksy. The catalog note from Banksy’s “Wall and Piece” reads,

“I like to think I have the guts to stand up anonymously in a Western democracy and call for things no-one else believes in – like peace and justice and freedom.”

This is yet another step in “bringing the utility of cryptocurrency mainstream,” said Coinbase on Tuesday.

Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) will be accepted for the artwork that is to be auctioned on May 12th in New York, which currently has an estimated bidding price of $3 million to $5 million as mentioned on the website.

The auction will be conducted in USD, but the buyer and artist will have the option to transact in either crypto or fiat currencies. Coinbase will support the payment and help manage price fluctuations.

“It's something we have been thinking about for quite some time,” said CEO Charles Stewart in an interview with CNBC. “What better combination to introduce crypto than an iconic Banksy painting.”

Last month, Sotheby’s accepted Ether for another artwork, but it was for an NFT created by anonymous digital artist Pak. Christie’s, another old auction house, has been involved in crypto through Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” and then CryptoPunks.

This latest crypto support, according to Sotheby’s Chief Technology Officer Stefan Pepe, will be “enhancing our client buying experience and developing new ways to expand our client base by meeting them where they are,” while according to Coinbase, it “will pave the way for further adoption of cryptocurrency across Sotheby’s auctions.”

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