At Scarce City, a marketplace for fine, Bitcoin-based goods, we’ve just sold a piece of artwork for 1 bitcoin in our debut Lightning Auction.
Lightning Auctions is a first-of-its-kind online marketplace that instantly and anonymously collateralizes bids on goods with minimal fees using the Lightning Network.
Participants pay a Lightning invoice with each bid that represents a small percentage of the bid amount. At an auction’s end, the highest bidder has 24 hours to pay the outstanding bid amount with an on-chain Bitcoin transaction. If they don’t, they lose their collateral and the next-highest bidder is given the chance to pay their highest bid. Once the item is paid for, remaining participants are refunded their collateral through a Lightning payment.
We debuted our Lightning Auctions with a stunning Bitcoin-themed mosaic, “Relentless Optimism” by Chiefmonkey and mosaic.rocks. Consisting of a phoenix taking flight with a physical bitcoin clutched in its claws, the work is inspired by the January 1988 cover of The Economist, an issue titled “Get ready for a world currency.”
Over three days, 19 participants placed 53 bids, totaling nearly 7 BTC. The gut wrenching finish included a bidding war that ended with a top bid of exactly 1 bitcoin from a mysterious participant who went by the name “MIKEZ.”
There were several moments when it seemed like the auction was over and then a last second bid would extend the auction countdown.
MIKEZ immediately paid the remaining balance of the bid, officially bringing the auction to a close. The resulting price tag for the artwork in U.S. dollar terms was approximately $19,100.
The response from the Bitcoin creative community has been astounding. It’s clear that a robust Bitcoin-based auction platform has been severely lacking.
Most importantly, the event showed that there’s strong demand for Bitcoin-based creative works when users are offered a good…