Login | October 15, 2018

Bitcoin gaining cachet in certain circles

KEITH ARNOLD
Special to the Legal News

Published: January 2, 2018

With its entry into the realm of high-end contemporary art purchases, bitcoin has arrived as a legitimate payment option for luxury items, especially to buyers who wish to have keep their names out of print.

Earlier this month, the White Co., which bills itself as the purveyor of fine art and luxury goods to a cryptocurrency-using clientele, reported the sale of "Select A Victim," a painting by American artist Mark Flood, at a price of 12.3 bitcoin, or BTC, - the equivalent of $100,000.

The art sale was a first in the United States, the company said. Flood's 2013 painting was offered privately to a Canadian citizen who insisted on his anonymity as it relates to the purchase.

White Co. CEO and namesake Elizabeth White said the company has noted the tremendous demand for art and luxury goods from buyers who have recently come into significant cryptocurrency wealth.

"They want to purchase tangible items with their newfound wealth and are finding it troublesome," she said in a press release.

Despite a growing number of merchants that accept cryptocurrency payments, luxury-item sellers' interest in digital currency has been nearly non-existent. White Co. is the first and only U.S. fine art and luxury goods dealer that accepts payment by cryptocurrency.

"One of the main advantages of Bitcoin is anonymity," White said. "And we highly respect the privacy of our clients, even communicating with them through secure methods such as Signal and Telegram if they wish.

"We work with anyone in the world, and are able to offer same day delivery of any confirmed purchase in New York City or their choice of shipping worldwide. Our buyers enjoy the comfort of full anonymity throughout the purchase process, that our combination of cryptocurrency payments and private communication channels provide."

Bitcoin gained popularity early on as a result of its ability to send payments without revealing the identity of the sender or receiver. When converting bitcoin to U.S. dollars, however, bitcoin holders had to reveal their identity to the exchange.

The ability to pay directly for things in cryptocurrency reassures a full level of privacy.

White Co. currently offers other art pieces by Flood, Peter Beard and Michael Dweck, in addition to other luxury items, including watches and high-end automobiles.

"If there is anything a client wants to purchase with bitcoin, we will be able to get it for them," White said. "Just yesterday we had a client wanting a suite at the Super Bowl and we made that happen for them."

White Co. now banks on these experiences, having developed the knowledge and connections, to bring together the world of fine art, watches, luxury automobiles and more to their client's fingertips.

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