Auction House Phillips to Accept Crypto for Banksy Artwork Worth Millions

The 225-year-old auction house joins larger rivals Christie's and Sotheby's in offering the ability to pay in crypto.

Jun 7, 2021 at 3:39 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:07 p.m. UTC

British auction house Phillips will accept ether and bitcoin in an upcoming auction of artist Banksy's “Laugh Now Panel A,” estimated to be worth between US$2.8 million and $4.1 million.

  • As reported by the South China Morning Post on Sunday, bidding at the auction will be conducted in Hong Kong dollars, with the winner having the option to pay in either dollars or crypto.
  • Banksy's artwork for sale depicts a monkey wearing a sandwich board that says, "Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge."
  • The ability to pay in crypto at the auction, slated for Tuesday, is in direct response to a large number of questions from the auction house's clients, according to Jonathan Crockett, head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art and deputy chairman, Asia.
  • Crockett also said the exchange rate of bitcoin, ether and Hong Kong dollars will be referenced from U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase on the day of the auction while the seller will bear the risk of the Hong Kong dollar to bitcoin volatility.
  • Phillips joins auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's in offering the ability to pay in crypto for expensive artworks listed on their platforms. The move marks a growing trend of auction houses to capture additional capital outside traditional means.
  • The 225-year-old auction house was founded in 1976 by Harry Phillips, who was a clerk of the auctioneer James Christie, and has headquarters in London and New York.

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