The renowned Phillips auction house is poised to sell Banksy artwork over the next couple of days. And in an ode to the disruptive graffiti artist, Phillps has said that they will accept bids in cryptocurrencies.
Street artist Banksy is known for his anti-authoritarian art that merges street art with political statements. The Phillips auction house, based in Hong Kong, is the first Asian auction house to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
“This marks the first time a major auction house in Asia will accept Bitcoin or Ether as a payment option for a physical work of art. Banksy has been a disruptor in the art world with his distinctive oeuvre characterized by dark humor, satire, and political commentary,”
Phillips has estimated the artwork titled “Laugh Now”‘ at a cool $2.8 to $4.1 million. Previously, a Banksy artwork was sold by a New York gallery and purchased by a blockchain company who minted it as an NFT and then proceeded to burn the original print and leave only the digital NFT remaining.
While the stunt incited controversy, it was a statement that not only acted as an artistic statement in itself on the inherent value of NFTs, but is similar to actions that Banksy took when he shredded his own artwork “Girl With Balloon” via an automatic mechanism shortly following the sale at auction.
Titling themselves as The Burnt Banksy Collective, the blockchain group that bought and burned the Banksy piece has this to say about their actions:
“If you were to have the NFT and the physical piece, the value would be primarily in the physical piece. By removing the physical piece from existence and only having the NFT, we can ensure that the NFT, due to the smart contract ability of the blockchain, will ensure that no one can alter the piece and it is the true piece that exists in the world. By doing this, the value of the physical piece will then be moved onto the NFT”
While the artwork currently on auction will accept cryptocurrency in the form of either Ether or Bitcoin, the artwork itself is not tied to an NFT, and is a traditional sale that also incorporates cryptocurrency into its sale procedure.
As the price of the “burnt banksy” NFT went up in price following the association with blockchain and the act that effectively minted it onto the blockchain forever as a digital piece, the fact that Phillips auction house is promoting cryptocurrency payments for a traditional art piece may lead to the estimated value of the Banksy artwork rising considerably.
According to Jonathan Crockett, chairman of Philips Asia, the piece has received a large amount of interest in the auction house accepting cryptocurrency payments. As the sale goes on, the result of the auction may determine the future of the cryptocurrency payments adoption in the art world.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.