Two mysterious characters connect. A work by Banksy, the anonymous artist known for sowing paintings on walls around the world, will be auctioned next week at Sotheby’s. And for the first time a “physical” work of art can also be paid for in bitcoin.
As is well known, the inventor of the most famous cryptocurrency is Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym behind which it is not yet known who is hiding, nor if it is a single individual or a group of computer cryptographers. The fact is that two worlds halfway between anonymity and innovation, each in its own field, cross their paths.
The work is the famous “Love is in the air”, the masked protester who throws a bouquet of flowers instead of a stone or a Molotov cocktail, for which an estimated value of between 3 and 5 million dollars.
The Sotheby’s auction will be carried out in collaboration with Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange recently landed on Nasdaq: bids will be taken only in dollars, but the buyer will be able to pay with bitcoin or ethereum. The partnership with Coinbase will allow for instant exchange to avoid the exchange risks associated with the very high volatility of both cryptocurrencies.
Major auction houses have introduced payments so far but only for digital artwork. Sotheby’s, the number one in the world, managed the auction for the digital artist Pak’s “The Fungible” collection on the Nifty Gateway platform, specifically for NFT.