When Frank and Nikki McKeever founded their small art dealer in Florida in 2012, they never imagined that cryptocurrency would become an integral part of their business.
In September 2017 – a period when cryptocurrency prices are rising and advertising – the Lynx Art Collection started offering encrypted themed works with litecoin, monero, ether and bitcoin payment options. Yet even when market prices have declined, sales of their galleries have continued to rise.
"The bear market has not affected our sales for most of 2018," said Frank McKeever.
Revealed exclusively for CoinDesk, the Lynx Art Collection has received more than 500 cryptographic payments for various prints and artwork by December 2018, accounting for approximately 75% of annual sales.
"The crypto category just exploded for us," he told CoinDesk McKeever, adding that he likes the basic marketing style of cryptic fan engagement on social media. "We have sold over 1,000 pieces of cryptographic works in 2018."
The McKeevers gallery is just one example of how bitcoin payment traders can still be viable for niche businesses that actively engage with the community. According to the Bitcoin bitcoin payment processor, the average value of cryptocurrency payments that it processed in 2018 was $ 678.77 – almost double its average retail payment value of $ 338.53 in 2017.
In short, the data indicate that encrypted users are buying less, but are spending more when they do.
Although both BitPay CEO and Purse Andrew Lee, head of a peer-to-peer market that satisfies Amazon buyers with bitcoins, did not specify the overall facilitated volume in 2018, internal data showed that traction of Purse has surpassed previous records since mid-2017 and remained stable for much of 2018, regardless of price fluctuations.
According to Lee, there must be an incentive that inspires people to spend bitcoins instead of legal currencies like dollars. This incentive can come in the form of a discount, such as the 15 percent reduction that bag buyers often save, or a direct relationship with sellers and creators.
This is the case of the Scottish painter Trevor Jones, one of the artists who sells bitcoin prints through the Lynx Art Collection. He told CoinDesk that painting cryptic themed portraits changed his career by helping him find an audience that loves the way his paintings include augmented reality Features.
"Many doors have opened, with future exhibitions," he said, adding that some of those exhibitions in 2019 will take place at the offices of technology companies.
After a decade of work as a professional artist, Jones sells paintings for up to $ 13,000 for cryptocurrency fans he meets on Twitter.
"My previous sales were mainly through commercial galleries, being able to sell fairly expensive art works to someone I've never seen before is spectacular," Jones said.
Creative storage space
As a veteran of entrepreneurship, Purse's Lee noted that many niche newcomers are discovering: "If you're paid in bitcoins, you're more likely to save it a lot," as he says.
McKeever said his retailer pays the artists for cryptic-themed prints directly into cryptocurrency, and holds about a quarter of the gallery's profits from those bitcoin or ether sales – and despite the broader market recession seen in recent months .
"We are hearing the bear market along with everyone else right now," said McKeever, adding that overall it's still worth it because encrypted payment options have boosted sales by 40% in categories like space-based prints and scientific.
Encryption fans have proven to be loyal customers, even when markets fluctuate.
Highlighting this point, in 2018 most buyers who contacted Jones directly also paid crypt theme paintings with bitcoin, ether or monero, which Jones has saved in bitcoin as a long-term investment.
Then, in December, inspired by conversations about the long-term care needs of artists and buyers, the McKeevers launched a series of holographic paper portfolios.
Users of cryptocurrency can store the digital loot using passwords, called keys, generated with free websites like BitAddress.org. Within 24 hours, half of the 750 holographic portfolios were already sold out.
In addition to the novelty in the addition of products based on the interests of the public, the management of its bitcoin wallets offers Mckeevers a convenient way to pay for European artists like Jones.
"E & # 39; [bitcoin] it's a quick and easy way to transfer money to me without anyone else receiving commissions, "Jones said.
Artistic image through the Lynx art collection