The use of cryptocurrency in the art market is minimal but growing. Some onlookers are even noting cryptocurrency's ability to “revolutionize” the art market.Is the art market slowly opening its arms to this new form of currency?
Take Dadiani Fine Art, a gallery in London that accepts cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dash. Gallery owner, Eleesa Dadiani, remarks that cryptocurrencies allow for access to international clientele, while attracting new types of art collectors. Furthermore, the process to transact using Bitcoins is easy - one can just convert Bitcoins to currency by linking his or her cryptocurrency “wallet” to Dadiani’s bank account.
According to BBC News, the art world is slowly accepting the use of cryptocurrencies due to blockchain’s additional ability to determine an artwork’s provenance - creating a more streamlined process for art dealers and buyers. Austrian Museum of Applied Art/Contemporary Art was the first museum to buy art using Bitcoins. However, the majority of the art market is still not accepting this new form of currency. For example, Sotheby’s has stated that they have no plans in the future to incorporate cryptocurrency in any part of their business.
Needless to say, the use of cryptocurrency in the United States is mixed. According to Joe Pinar, director of cybersecurity at Gemalto, less than one percent of retailers use Bitcoins, which is a far cry from other countries. A prime example is Japan, which plans to use Bitcoin in 260,000 retailers in the next few years.
The main downfall of using Bitcoin is that it takes time to settle a payment and its value is highly volatile. Only time will tell if cryptocurrencies will become an integral part of our day-to-day lives in the near future much less the art market.