Sotheby’s to accept crypto payments for 101-carat rare diamond

Sotheby’s to accept crypto payments for 101-carat rare diamond

BUSINESS | Jun 22, 2021 | WOZINGA NEWS

Sotheby’s to accept crypto payments for 101-carat rare diamond

  • Luxury auction house Sotheby’s is accepting crypto payments for its rare, 101-carat diamond auction sale. 
  • The sale, hosted by Sotheby’s Hong Kong, will go live on July 9. Buyers have the option of paying in ether or bitcoin. 

By Elah Mae Ariate Wozinga Journalist

According to Coindesk, an international auction house, Sotheby’s will accept Bitcoin and Ethereum for a rare 101.38-carat diamond that could fetch more than $15 million at auction.

The exceptionally rare rock will be sold in a single-lot auction in Hong Kong, according to the auction house. It is the first acceptance of cryptocurrency as a supported payment option.

Sotheby’s said that if it is purchased with cryptocurrency, the transaction will be handled by Coinbase Commerce.

Sotheby’s offered Rare Diamond (The Key 10138)

According to Sotheby’s, “this is the first time a physical object of this value has been publicly offered for sale using cryptocurrency.” 100-carat diamonds are extremely rare, particularly pear-shaped diamonds. This diamond, called “The Key 10138” by Sotheby’s. It is the second-largest pear-shaped diamond ever sold on the open market. On July 9, the diamond will be auctioned off in a single-lot live auction at Hong Kong. The jewel will be on display at Sotheby’s Hong Kong gallery for one week before the auction. According to the report, the Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia Patti Wong described the upcoming sale as a “truly symbolic moment.”

Auction house’s Commitment to Innovation

The diamond will be the “highlight” of the auction house’s Luxury Edit series in Hong Kong, which will also include jewelry, watches, handbags, and rare sneakers.

Managing director of Sotheby’s global luxury department, Josh Pullan said, “Over the past year, we’ve seen a voracious appetite for jewels and other luxury items for collectors across the globe.” Increasingly that demand is coming from a younger, digitally native generation. Many of whom are in Asia, he said.

Accepting payments in Ether and Bitcoin, according to Pullan, is part of the auction house’s “commitment to innovation.”

Indeed, this is not the first time Sotheby’s has held an auction involving blockchain technology in some capacity.

The auction house sold its first NFT, by anonymous digital artist Pak, in April, and its second NFT, a rare Crypto Punk, just two weeks ago. On June 23, Sotheby’s will auction off an NFT of the source code for the World Wide Web.

Do you like Sotheby’s “Commitment to Innovation”?

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