Dadiani Fine Art, a contemporary art gallery established in 2014, offers buyers the chance to purchase works of art using any of seven types of ‘cryptocurrency’ or digital money.
Eleesa Dadiani, the gallery’s owner, hopes that the introduction of the 21st century currency to the art world will encourage other traditional businesses to adapt and survive in a challenging economic climate by accessing “a new type of buyer”.
She says: “Cryptocurrencies will provide a bridge from the elitist, centralist fine art market to a decentralised open-source world where many more will be able to become a part of this exhilarating market.”
The best-known type of digital currency is Bitcoin, which was introduced in 2009. A user will establish an online Bitcoin ‘wallet’ which acts as a bank account, and can transfer currency into it from a ‘real world’ account. Each Bitcoin is a string of code protected by a personal key and be and traded with other users or, in some cases, exchanged for goods and services. High estimates put the number of active wallet-users at 5.8m.
One Bitcoin is currently worth around £1970.
Dadiani also accepts Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, Litecoin and Dash and plans to accept further ‘altcoins’ as they gain wider recognition.
Dadiani’s upcoming exhibition The Noise will be the first where the currency is accepted, though the focus of the show is on much older technology. It features six sculptures made from the exhausts of Formula One cars and other motor racing memorabilia paying tribute to the now-discontinued V-8 engines. Among the works is a gold-plated set from the Sauber-Ferrari driven by Kamui Kobayashi in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Mike O’Connor of Heritage F1, a company which buys and sells F1 cars, compiled the collection says that it is “the story attached to each” gives the sculptures their value. The show also includes more than 40 years’ worth of memorabilia. The show opens on July 14 and prices range from £25,000-30,000.