International auction house Sotheby’s will accept Cryptocurrency as payment for a 101.38-carat diamond

At Sotheby's, cryptocurrency could buy you a 101-carat diamond
Representative Image : Image Credit (Canva)

This Friday, international auction house Sotheby’s will accept Bitcoin or Ether as payment for a 101.38-carat diamond, marking yet another milestone in cryptocurrency adoption.

According to Sotheby’s, the pear-shaped perfect diamond might fetch up to $15 million in a single-lot sale in Hong Kong, making it the most expensive physical object ever publicly offered for purchase using bitcoin.

The market for precious jewels is expanding, according to Josh Pullan, managing director of Sotheby’s global luxury division, with a “younger, digitally native population, many of whom are in Asia” driving it. Only a few hundred carat diamonds have ever been auctioned, with only two of them being pear-shaped.

Phillips offered a painting by street artist Banksy for Ether or Bitcoin last month, demonstrating how auction houses are increasingly taking cryptocurrency as payment. In February, Christie’s accepted Ether as payment for a series of digital artworks.

Many auction house executives were shocked by the passionate demand from collectors who wanted to pay in cryptocurrencies, according to George Bak, a Switzerland-based art consultant and curator for the Museum of Contemporary Digital Art who specialises in blockchain technologies.

“Many people became quite wealthy as a result of the cryptocurrency market’s volatility over the last year, so they’re in a spending mood,” Bak explained. “If you want to be a competitive art dealer or auction house, allowing collectors to pay with cryptocurrency will make you more appealing and innovative.”

Despite the fact that cryptocurrency prices fluctuate often, auction houses rarely bear the brunt of any fluctuation, according to Bak, who claims that the seller bears the most of the risk. Despite the growing enthusiasm, he does not believe that crypto will ever replace traditional currencies.

“I see a lot of potential in this hybrid reality, where you can have your digital wallet and tangible artworks coexist,” he remarked. “However, because it is still early in the game, everyone is likely to be on a learning curve.”

Also read: Why is China cracking down on cryptocurrency?