Melbourne’s Thierry B Fine Art has become the first art gallery in Australia to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment.
The decision to embrace Bitcoin was made after a survey by the gallery revealed that Thierry B’s clientele was familiar with the digital currency and keen to use it for purchasing art works, said gallery manager, Vicki Finkelstein.
What triggered our interest was a recent Goldman Sachs report in which the financial giant warned institutional investors that they could no longer ignore cryptocurrencies – especially Bitcoin,”she said.
”That advice was echoed by Bloomberg which noted that the dollar value of the 20 biggest cryptocurrencies is now around US$150 billion.
”While the fine art industry is traditionally conservative and painstaking in areas from provenance to sales, we felt that inevitably, it would accept cryptocurrencies for payment.
”With Bitcom automatic teller machines about to be rolled out across Australia, that’s likely to happen sooner rather than later.
”At Thierry B we’ve always been early adopters and our Bitcoin initiative reflects our clients’ needs. Service to them is our number one priority.”
Ms Finkelstein said she was aware of only one other art gallery in the world that allows its clients to pay for art works with digital currency.
”It’s in Mayfair, London and has been accepting several cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin since August, but we have certainly spearheaded that revolution in purchasing art in Australia.”
The man behind the eponymous South Yarra gallery has forged plenty of fresh paths since he arrived in Melbourne from his native France in 1997.
Formerly maitre d’ of iconic restaurants Mietta’s and France-Soir, Thierry B – the single letter serves as his surname – pursued his passion for art by becoming a successful abstract expressionist painter, art dealer and gallery owner.