The legend of South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela continues as gold castings of his hands have been sold for $10m in bitcoin.
Canadian crypto-currency exchange firm Arbitrade bought four casts from South African businessman Malcolm Duncan in its bold plan to launch a global “Golden Hands of Nelson Mandela” tour to educate young people about the anti-apartheid icon’s life.
Mr Duncan, who now lives in Canada, bought the casts from mining group Harmony Gold in 2002 for about $31,000.
The casts, which weigh around 20lb (9kg), include Mr Mandela’s hand, palm and fist, and will be used as part of a collection to mark the years the former president spent in prison on Robben Island.
Arbitrade has reportedly paid Mr Duncan a bitcoin deposit that has been converted to $50,000, and the rest is expected to be paid in quarterly instalments of at least $2m.
“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,” Mr Duncan was quoted as saying.
Mr Mandela was jailed for 27 years for fighting white minority rule in South Africa. He was released in 1990, and served as president from 1994 to 1999.
He died in 2013 at the age of 95, and he’d turned into a global brand, with businessmen and artists cashing in on his name.