The New York Times offers a headline that Paddle 8 is merging with a Swiss tech company but the story underneath has a very different tale to tell. Ostensibly, Paddle 8 is melding art & luxury auctions with bitcoin transactions, the benefit of which is hardly clear.
Further down we find a familiar cast of characters from many of the last decade’s most farcical endeavors. On one side, we have the famous Winkelvoss twins who originally commissioned Mark Zuckerberg to create a social network before he decided to launch “The Facebook.” Made famous in the film The Social Network and and made rich by a $60m settlement with Zuckerberg, the Winkelvii latched on to Bitcoin as an opportunity to prove their bona fides.
Skaterschikov has previously invested in Paddle 8 through other vehicles he formerly controlled. He’s also pursued a number of different strategies to gain a foothold into the art market including Skate’s, Artnews, investments in Artnet and some sort of relationship with the Polish art-related firm Abbey House.
Now Skaterschikov returns through a blockchain firm called The Native:
The Native will buy a 15 percent stake in Paddle8 for 8.5 million Swiss francs, or $8.8 million. The Native will also have an option to buy an additional 36 percent of Paddle8 for 24.5 million Swiss francs, giving it a majority stake. […]
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the investors who have long been proponents of Bitcoin and virtual currencies, have advised Paddle8 since 2015 and had pushed the company to adopt blockchain technology.
“We’ve long considered cryptocurrency as key to increasing transparency in markets around the world, including the art market,” Cameron Winklevoss said in a statement.
Paddle8, Online Art Auctioneer, Is Merging With Swiss Tech Company (The New York Times)