Bitcoin for Babe Ruth? Sports auction house will accept crypto – Aljazeera.com

Posted: March 31, 2021 at 4:53 am

Goldin Auctions announced it will accept Bitcoin and Ether in its sports memorabilia auctions, becoming one of the first physical auction houses to embrace cryptocurrencies.

On Tuesday, the sports memorabilia auction houseGoldin Auctionsannounced that it would accept cryptocurrency, making it one of the first brick-and-mortar auction houses to follow the runaway success of auction houseChristies, which accepted Ether for aonetime,$69 million saleearlier this month.

Goldin, which isknown for high-value items, including a Lebron Jamesrookie card that sold for $1.8 millionlast year, decided to accept Bitcoin and Ether based on demand from consumers, says Ross Hoffman, Goldins chief executive officer.

Look, we think a big macro theme that were seeing is folks that are hedging, he continues.One, against inflation, and two, theres interest in alternative investing. Crypto currency and sports collectibles, Hoffman concludes, have a pretty large overlap.

The auction house has already accepted two payments in crypto, most notablyfora Jay-Z cardthatsold for $103,200 on March 20. Its pretty amazing how easy the tech is to integrate, Hoffman says. We had the idea [to accept crypto] two weeks ago, did the integration, and accepted our first payment in Bitcoin last week.

This isnt Goldins first foray into blockchain-based technologies.

Earlier this year, the auction house partnered with Youtube star Logan Paul toauction off a box of Pokemon cards; winning bidders also received holographic trading cards paired to digital certificates of authenticityknown asNFTs. It feels like a long time ago, but I think it was January or February, says Hoffman. Weve been experimenting in the space pretty early on.

While Goldin might be among the first brick-and-mortar sports memorabilia auction houses to accept crypto, its following in the well-trodden footsteps of the digital-only platform NBA Top Shot.

Goldin Auctions sells memorabilia like this 1932 Babe Ruth baseball, which was auctioned off in 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of Ruths major league debut [File: Patrick Semansky/AP Photo]NBA Top Shots main commodityshort licensed video clips (moments) that are also tied to NFTsis often described asa kind of digital baseball card. The popularity of these clipshas soared over the last few months, with pricestopping more than $200,000for a single moment.

When asked if (perceived) cryptoriches were a motivation, Hoffman says that Goldins decision to acceptBitcoin and Ether wont lead to lower prices, but I dont know if it will lead to higher prices either.

The key, he says, is that it will be merchandise specific, meaning he imagines that a crypto-paying audiencemight be more interested in one category of collectible than another.

I dont think we have enough data points yet to give a clear answer, but we should over time, he says. You can imagine that certain sports with a more global audience, like soccer, might attract crypto collectors from around the world.

The decision to accept cryptocurrency isnt without potential pitfalls.

Auction houses are intermediaries, meaning that they receive payment from a buyerand then pass that payment on to the consignor. (Goldin has partnered withGemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, to facilitate crypto payments.)

But given crypto currencysrapid fluctuations, theres a chance Goldin could lose money on the exchange.

Theres some volatility there, Hoffman acknowledges.

But this is going to make us the easiest and most trusted marketplace to work with. And whatever risk there is [will] be offset by the benefit of bringing in more members.

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Bitcoin for Babe Ruth? Sports auction house will accept crypto - Aljazeera.com

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