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Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption"Accepting crypto-currencies broadens my client base," says Eleesa Dadiani

Why is the art world getting excited about digital currency Bitcoin and its underlying technology blockchain?

Eleesa Dadiani owns and runs an art gallery in London's famous Cork Street. She was born in Georgia in the Caucasus and was "breastfed by gypsies".

But she is also a passionate believer in the power of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

When we meet she is busy preparing for an exhibition of sculptures made from the exhausts of former Formula 1 racing cars.

One of these strange rib-cage-like creations made from the super-strong alloy inconel has been gold-plated and will sell for about £35,000.

"These are pieces of history," she tells me.

In a first for the tradition-bound art world of Cork Street, her international clientele will have the opportunity to pay using Bitcoin, the digital cryptocurrency underpinned by blockchain technology.

The gallery will also accept other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Litecoin, and soon, Monero, she says.


Image copyright Reuters Image caption The number of retailers that accept Bitcoin is rising, but it is still relatively small

"This is not a demand-driven decision at all, it's intuitive based on the way things are going," she says.

She believes paying by cryptocurrency will become as normal as paying by cash or credit card. She also hopes it will attract a new, non-traditional type of art investor.

Blockchain, the underlying tec...

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