Iconic British Auction House Sotheby’s To Allow Live Bidding On Banksy Art With ETH

Last updated: Sep 01, 2023
3 Min Read
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277-year-old British auction house Sotheby’s will be allowing live bidding in ETH at an upcoming virtual exhibition that will take place in Decentraland.

The virtual auction will feature two pieces from legendary artist Banksy, including “Love Is In The Air,” and “Trolley Hunters.”

The event comes months after Sothebys became the first auction house to accept cryptocurrency for physical works of art. This will be the first time that crypto is used for live bidding in an art auction.

"Together, these milestone offerings not only spotlight the artist’s position as the leading disruptor of the art world whose work resonates with the boundary-pushing ethos of the crypto community, but they demonstrate the innovative spirit in which Sotheby’s continues to experiment with and expand the possibilities of the auction format."

According to Sotheby’s, ETH is the preferred cryptocurrency in the digital art and non-fungible token (NFT) community, given that the Ethreum network is the main ecosystem where NFTs are minted and transactions take place.

While the bidding increments will be given in ETH, Sotheby’s says that winning bidders will have the option of paying the hammer price either in fiat, Bitcoin (BTC), or USD Coin (USDC).

Also being sold at the auction is a copy of the United States Constitution. In anticipation of the Constitution being sold, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) formed with the goal of purchasing it at the auction. ConstitutionDAO raised more than $40 million in less than a week in order to place bids at Sotheby’s auction. The funds raised came from over 15,000 participants with an average contribution of $2,000. One anonymous donor contributed $4 million.

ConstitutionDAO twitter.jpg
Image via Twitter

After winning the auction, the DAO aims to get possession of the Consitution and keep it available to the public instead of whisked away into a private collection.

David Silverman, a contributor to the initiative, outlined the advantages of using DAO over a regular fundraising process.

“There isn’t really any analog that can spin that up in less than three days’ time... And using cryptocurrency to handle the donation flows guarantees that everyone is able to contribute around the world without having to wait, you know, worry about waiting for banking clearance and currency conversions and all kinds of other settlement.”

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