Sotheby’s Auctioneer Oliver Barker Will Field Real-Time Bids in ETH,
In a Fusion of Live Auction and Crypto
NEW YORK, 11 November 2021: In an auction world first, Sotheby’s auctioneer Oliver Barker is set to field bids live from the New York saleroom in Ether (ETH) cryptocurrency for Banksy’s Trolley Hunters and Love Is In The Air (2006), when the artist’s works make their auction debuts as part of the newly-conceived ‘The Now Evening Auction’ on November 18. The paradigm-shifting move marks the first time that a cryptocurrency will be used as the standard currency for bidding on physical artworks in real-time during a live auction. Viewers from across the globe will be able to follow the livestreamed broadcast of the auction across Sotheby’s social media channels, including the company’s dedicated Discord channel, and via Sothebys.com.
Today’s announcement comes just months after Sotheby’s became the first auction house to accept cryptocurrency as a payment option for a physical work of art, when a separate painting by Banksy was offered in the May 2021 Contemporary Evening 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.
Ether, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market value, is a preferred cryptocurrency for the digital art and NFT community, as the Ethereum blockchain is the primary network where NFTs are minted and transactions are registered. While bidding increments for both works will be announced in Ether, the winning bidders will have the option of paying the hammer price for each work in fiat currency or in the three cryptocurrencies accepted by Sotheby’s: Ether (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), and USD Coin (USDC).
Read the full press release here.
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*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.
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