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Sotheby’s will accept digital currency for rare diamond

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It is indeed a ‘rare’ occasion when Sotheby’s announces it will accept digital currency payments for a flawless diamond valued between A$13 million and $19 million.

The magnitude of this ‘truly symbolic moment’ is explained by the fact that no other physical object with an estimate even close to the value of this Type IIa diamond has ever been publicly offered for purchase using a digital asset like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

“The most ancient and emblematic denominator of value can now, for the first time, be purchased using humanity’s newest universal currency,” said Patti Wong, chair of Sotheby’s Asia. “Never was there a better moment to bring a world-class diamond such as this to the market.”

The pear-shaped D flawless diamond that has been named ‘The Key 10138’ will be auctioned on July 9 in Hong Kong, with online bidding open from June 25.

“With the name ‘The Key 10138’, we wanted to celebrate this enlightening virtue while also alluding to the crucial function of digital keys in the world of NFTs and cryptocurrency,” Wenhao Yu, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery in Asia, said.

The auction house will accept fiat currency along with Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment for this rare diamond that is one of the most chemically pure types.

Sotheby’s has been increasing its adoption of blockchain-related technologies like NFTs. The auction house recently selling a CryptoPunk NFT for a record A$15 million.

Last month, Sotheby’s sold a Banksy for US$12.9 million in the first instance of a work of physical art sold by a major auction house that was bought with cryptocurrency.

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