You Could Bid On This 101 Carat Diamond With Crypto | Business and Economy News

The flawless diamond could fetch as much as $ 15 million, making it the most expensive physical item ever purchased with crypto.

International auction house Sotheby’s will accept payment in Bitcoin or Ether when selling a 101.38-carat diamond this Friday, marking a new step in the adoption of cryptocurrencies.

The pear-shaped flawless diamond could fetch as much as $ 15 million when selling a single lot in Hong Kong, the most expensive physical item ever publicly offered for purchase with a cryptocurrency, according to Sotheby’s.

Josh Pullan, Managing Director of Sotheby’s Global Luxury Division, said there was a growing demand for gemstones, increasingly from a “younger, digital-native generation, many of whom are in Asia”. Less than 10 diamonds weighing over 100 carats have already been auctioned, only two of which are pear-shaped.

Auction houses are increasingly accepting cryptocurrencies for payment, with Phillips offering a coin by street artist Banksy last month for Ether or Bitcoin. Christie’s also authorized Ether payment for a set of digital artwork in February.

George Bak, artistic advisor and curator of the Swiss-based Museum of Contemporary Digital Art, specializing in blockchain technologies, said many auction house executives were surprised by the fervent interest of collectors who wanted to pay in cryptocurrency.

“A lot of people have gotten rich really fast thanks to the volatility in the crypto market over the past year, so they’re in the mood to spend,” Bak said. “If you want to be competitive in the art world as an art dealer or auction house, allowing collectors to pay with cryptocurrency will make you more attractive and innovative.”

Although crypto prices rise and fall frequently, auction houses rarely bear the brunt of volatility, according to Bak, who said the seller bears most of the risk. Despite growing interest, he doesn’t expect crypto to replace traditional currencies anytime soon.

“This hybrid reality, where you can have your digital wallet and your physical artwork coexist, is something I see a lot of potential in,” he said. “But since it’s still early days, it’s probably a learning curve for everyone.”

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