Who would have ever thought that the world of blockchain technology and the world of art would ever collide? The past few years have shown that digital artists can, indeed, make a nice living with blockchain’s help, and now Christie’s Auction House is looking to get in on the action.
Christie’s Auction House Views ETH with Positivity
The company has recently stated that all art pieces put up for sale or auction in the future can be paid for with Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the number one competitor to bitcoin. This is a huge step forward in the arena of crypto payments, though the premiums – the additional fees charged by Christie’s – must still be paid in fiat.
Noah Davis – a specialist who organizes auctions at the organization – explained in a recent statement:
We’re at this precipice where crypto is going to be such a more established and mainstream mode of conducting business. With this [sale], I think it’s the perfect way to dip our toes in and give this a shot.
What inspired the company to begin accepting crypto payments was artwork developed by a digital artist named Mike Winkelmann, otherwise known as Beeple. The man has been active for many years, developing pieces for established corporations such as Apple and Louis Vuitton, along with singers such as Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande.
His popularity has grown to the point that many of his pieces sell out within seconds or minutes. The big clincher is that much of his artwork for sale is available on the ETH blockchain.
In an interview, the artist explained:
It’s been a lot to take in. The rabbit hole of possibilities that this is going to bring to the art world – I don’t think people are fully recognizing that this is going to be a massive, massive shift.
Thus far, the man has sold more than $3 million in artwork. Davis says that Christie’s was eager to take advantage of Beeple’s presence and work something out so that his artwork could be available through the auction house. He said:
There are $1.8 million people who follow this guy on Instagram and for whom a $100 starting bid, up to a few thousand dollars, is accessible. We want people to play the game and see that bidding is not this impossible to do, sort of velvet rope way to engage in popular culture.
The Currency Is Rather Easy to Use
Up to this point, everyone who has purchased work by Winkelmann has done so using Ethereum. The artist mentions that of all the currencies, he believes ETH is the easiest to use and convert. He says:
Ethereum is like bitcoin, but you can program rules on top of it that govern how these things work. ‘Smart money’ is the easiest sort of analogy for people.