Sotheby’s to accept crypto payment for sports memorabilia NFT sale for first time

The centuries-old art auction house Sotheby’s announced on Tuesday that it will accept cryptocurrency payments for an auction including a sports memorabilia non-fungible token (NFT) sale for the first time. 

The item in question is a shooting shirt from the late Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant as he scored 81 points in a 2006 game against the Toronto Raptors. The official authenticator for the National Basketball Association (NBA) verified and photo-matched the shirt, and no other worn item from Bryant has been released for public auction. 

Bryant’s shooting shirt will be sold physically and have an accompanying NFT of an animation depicting Bryant’s 81-point game. The shirt’s starting price will begin at $200,000 USD. Sotheby’s will accept the final payment in ETH, BTC, USD Coin as well as fiat currency. 

Sotheby’s began selling NFTs in April of 2021 — primarily for digital art and not sports-related items but didn’t accept crypt payments for its auctions until May of that year. In all, Sotheby’s netted $100 million in NFT sales in 2021, The Block previously reported.