World Edges Closer to Being Able to Buy Art With Bitcoins, Thanks to Paddle8 and the Winklevii

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Courtesy PMC).

Paddle8, the auction startup backed by Damien Hirst, Jay Jopling and Matthew Mellon, is already a pioneering art world tech company. They made it possible for collectors to buy art from the comfort of an iPad screen.

Now, according to an article in Fast Company, it’s clearing even more antiquated road blocks—constantly fluctuating exchange rates, endless bank transfer hiccups, unaccounted-for delays—by upping its involvement with Bitcoin, the boundary-less cryptocurrency.

All of this has something to do with the Winklevoss twins, who as of last year owned one percent of all the world’s Bitcoins. As a result, Cameron and Tyler are now the newest investors in Paddle8. They drank champagne and ate paella to celebrate. Congrats, all!

As for their confidence in Bitcoin, well, the Winklevii are pretty sure that soon, no one will buy art with that old-fashioned stuff called money. Cash! How quaint.

By email, Tyler Winklevoss wrote to Fast Company that “The art market is global and like many global markets it currently feels the pain, inefficiencies, and high-costs of our current payment systems. Bitcoin rethinks the way we transfer value. It is borderless, frictionless, and instant and should be able to bring these qualities to art transactions just like any other transaction.”

And Paddle8 CEO Aditya Julka tried to explain how they got in leagues with the crew-rowing Facebook also-rans, and his company’s reasons for enthusiastically supporting the slightly dubious currency concept with a founder who—even with hapless journalists on his tail—remains in hiding. It has something to do with art as an “asset class.”

After being introduced by an existing investor, Julka said, “we talked about how there has been so much conversation about art as an asset class, and while some people think of Bitcoin as a currency other think of it as an asset class. There’s a lot of commonality about how Bitcoin is thought of, and as we spoke with them it became clear they could be very helpful both in terms of global expansion and company building.”

Start tying up your savings in Bitcoin accordingly.

World Edges Closer to Being Able to Buy Art With Bitcoins, Thanks to Paddle8 and the Winklevii