British contemporary artist Lincoln Townley sold 19 paintings to a Singaporean investor for 490 bitcoin. Using today’s bitcoin price, that transaction is worth about $4.9 million.
Townley is a crypto enthusiast whose celebrity clientele includes actors Al Pacino, Michael Caine, and Samuel L. Jackson. In fact, Caine dubbed him the “next Andy Warhol.”
An art agent based in Switzerland purchased Townley’s entire 19-piece “Greed” collection on behalf of a Singaporean businessman, the Evening Standard reported.
Townley has sold art for crypto before
This is not the first time that Townley has sold his artwork in exchange for crypto.
He did the same thing last year and again in 2017.
In August 2018, Lincoln Townley sold an entire art collection for crypto using social media. At the time, Townley said he preferred to receive payment in bitcoin.
Despite criticism that “nobody uses bitcoin” to buy things, there’s a growing group of people like Townley who transact using crypto.
‘People who invest in bitcoin are speculators’
Townley told Express UK in 2018 that he prefers to sell his artwork to bitcoin investors because they’re risk takers.
“The people who invest in bitcoin are without doubt speculators,” Townley said. “They are looking at something with more of a risk.”
While it might sound odd that crypto enthusiasts would turn to art as a store of value, Townley says it makes sense to him.
“They are looking for a tangible asset they can put this newfound currency into,” he explained.
BTC used in real estate transaction
Another arena where bitcoin has been used for transactions is real estate.
In April 2019, former child actor Brock Pierce used bitcoin as collateral to buy a $1.3 million mansion in Amsterdam, CCN reported. Pierce is a former child star who appeared in the 1992 film “The Mighty Ducks.”
The real estate transaction represents the first-ever crypto-backed mortgage.
Actor-Turned-Crypto Whiz Brock Pierce Buys $1.3 Million Mansion with Bitcoin https://t.co/MBxRgkNWMI
— CCN Markets (@CCNMarkets) April 4, 2019
Brock Pierce is now a crypto entrepreneur who’s the chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation. He says a stunning 95% of his net worth is in in cryptocurrencies.
Pierce said being able to borrow fiat money against his crypto assets is a convenient financing method. “I was able to hold on to my crypto and settle the transaction in fiat,” he said.
It also “aligns with my philosophy that real estate and tokenization will be a quadrillion-dollar-market,” he said.
In November 2018, bitcoin bull Mike Novogratz claimed that tokenization of real estate was an emerging trend.
“You’re going to see more and more of that,” Novogratz said.”It’s not nearly as sexy as Web 3.0, but it’s a part of this broader movement of tokenization, digitalization in blockchain. The blockchain makes a lot possible.”