Philips auction house to accept crypto for artwork worth millions

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 $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 Phillips Asia’s chairman Jonathan Crockett.

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 other major 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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