A South African-turned-Canadian businessman has agreed to sell to what is thought to be last gold gold-casted hand models from South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela to a Canadian cryptocurrency company for $10 million USD worth of bitcoin. The Canadian firm made the purchase envisioning a world tour of the gold castings to educate more people about the Nobel Prize-winning political leader.
A Unique Marketing Strategy
Malcolm Duncan is selling four gold-casted hand models of former President Nelson Mandela’s hands to Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Arbitrade for BTC worth $10 million.
The planned global “Golden Hands of Nelson Mandela” tour is set to be a marketing play for the budding Canadian crypto exchange. Arbitrade is planning to launch a token backed by gold, ergo the extravagant purchase.
In 2002, Duncan first purchased the casts from the third largest gold mining company in South Africa, Harmony Gold, for $31,000. As reported by Bloomberg, according to the agreement between Duncan and Harmony Gold, half of the money was supposed to go to Mandela’s designated charity. Yet it is not certain whether that ever happened or not.
After 15 years the 99.99 percent gold-molded hands, weighing collectively 20 pounds, became open for sale. The two sets commemorate the year Mandela was jailed and the year he was freed. After his release from prison, several Mandela-linked pieces of art flooded the market with most of them being fake. Many of the art pieces were destroyed under Mandela’s orders.
Cryptocurrencies Enter the Art Industry
As reported on GlobalNewsWire, Duncan and Arbitrade came to an agreement at the PDAC 2018 conference held in Toronto.
Arbitrade’s chairman Len Schutzman commented:
“It was the first time the collection had been on display to the general public anywhere in the world since the Letter of Authenticity had been received from Harmony Gold and we felt it was singularly appropriate that we should have met to purchase the collection at the famed PDAC Conference, one of the largest gold and metals events in the world.”
For now, Duncan has received a bitcoin deposit worth $50,000 to confirm the agreement. Arbitrade will pay the remainder in quarterly installments of $2 million.
Duncan confirmed that Arbitrade has assured it will guarantee the value of the $10 million payment, even if BTC’s value drops. Duncan was quoted as saying, “They take possession when I have the dollar amount in the bank, at two-and-a-quarter million at a time, they take one hand at a time.”
The deal highlights how cryptocurrency could be used to pay huge amounts. In the future, with the introduction of smart contracts, the agreement between two entities could be signed over the blockchain.
Was purchasing the golden hands of Nelson Mandela a good marketing strategy for Arbitrade? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
Images via Famous Biographies, Bulawayo24