Gagosian announced in passing Tuesday that the blue chip gallery will now be accepting the following cryptocurrencies for payment: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USD Coin.
The news was included in the announcement of a new Murakami show, which will feature sculptures and paintings based off of his two NFT projects, CloneX, done in partnership with RTFKT, and his solo NFT venture Murakami.Flowers, a series of more than 11,000 pixelated, smiling flowers that often show up in his work.
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Long considered to be resistant to crypto and NFTs, to the point where Gagosian-represented artist Urs Fischer went to Pace to launch an NFT project, Gagosian’s turn is an unexpected one. And they’re not the only ones to have dragged their feet in crypto adoption.
While auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s began accepting crypto fairly quickly, only a few mega-galleries have made the move to embrace the novel currency.
Here’s where the other mega-galleries stand on the technology:
- Pace has been the most aggressive in their adoption of crypto and NFTs, even launching Pace Verso, their own NFT platform, to better aid their artist in metaverse activated projects.
- Lehmann Maupin claims that they were the first to accept crypto payments, which they started doing in July of 2021.
- Thaddaeus Ropac, David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth and White Cube have not yet begun accepting crypto payments.
That might soon change whether they like it or not, commented Laura Lehmann, who helped develop Lehmann Maupin’s crypto payment system.
“As crypto becomes institutionalized galleries may start accepting crypto without necessarily knowing they’re accepting crypto as companies like MasterCard begin partnerships with cryptocurrency exchanges,” Lehmann said.
Galleries might also be swayed by their clients. In Lehmann Maupin’s case, they adopted crypto payments as clients, particularly in Asia, began requesting it with more frequency. With the emerging importance of Asian markets and the well-spring of tech wealth, more galleries may begin to accept these novel currencies.