Cryptocurrency proponents and skeptics alike have compared the nascent asset class to digital baseball cards, so it makes sense that the world’s highest-grossing baseball card auction will accept Bitcoin as payment.
The seller is Evan Mathis, a former lineman who played 13 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), and the item is a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, graded Mint 9 by memorabilia authenticator PSA.
The card -- often misidentified as the New York Yankee legend's rookie card -- is one of only six to have been graded a Mint 9, while three others have earned a perfect Mint 10 rating.
Heritage Auctions -- who will be overseeing the sale -- has estimated the card’s value at $3.5 million. That figure should raise some eyebrows, as it eclipses the $3.12 million that a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner -- the most famous baseball card ever produced -- sold for in 2016.
The former NFL star said that he had no qualms about accepting Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency as payment for the card, in addition to conventional payment options. Bitcoin millionaires, he said, are welcome.
"A lot of new money was created in crypto," Mathis told the Associated Press. "There's a lot of people that might have some newfound riches that they might want to diversify with, and I just kind of wanted to spread the target market out a little bit and give those guys a chance to jump in."
However, Mathis, an avid sports card collector who said he traded away most of his collection to acquire the fabled Mantle rookie card several years ago, is likely to be quick to cash out the proceeds, as he intends to use the funds to purchase a dream home for his family.
On the other hand, perhaps he should consider foregoing having to pay the commission associated with a transaction of this size and use the funds to purchase one of the many homes and condos that have been listed exclusively for Bitcoin.
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