11 June 2020

There has been a lot of noise around what blockchain can and can’t do. Many say every business should consider using blockchain for their operations. Since it is an immutable record, this would make sense for many industries. Yet, many people oppose this idea. They argue that companies need a giant, well-organized spreadsheet.

While this is a sharp discussion, there is no denying the potential of the blockchain. There is a reason why many industries have adopted it. And that is because the blockchain is state-of-the-art technology.

Here is where the art industry and the blockchain can collide.

Crypto Art: The Revolution Has Started

Once we hear the words blockchain, we may think of crypto-oriented artists. This is the case for Vesa Kivinen, who believes crypto art has the potential to be game-changing. He has auctioned his art lately in a unique way: a bitcoin-based price – not dollar-based. Pricing his art in crypto doesn’t make that significant of a difference for the buyers. For the artist, it is an investment – it can appreciate or depreciate its cost over time. Not only that, art, like bitcoin and other cryptos, are scarce. This only shows that art and crypto have more things in common than some may think.

Similar is the case of Pascal Boyart, a French graffiti artist. Pascal made headlines last year because of one of his works, which used “La Liberté guidant le peuple” (Liberty guiding the people) by Eugène Delacroix as a reference. Inspired by the French riots, he recreated the painting with yellow vests, a protest group. The twist? Not only was this a political statement – but he also hid $1,000 in BTC within the graffiti. His art was shut down by the government shortly after.

Nonetheless, art and crypto is not only art about crypto. It is about so much more. It is about how it can change the way people buy and sell art. It is about proving ownership of a work of art. It is about making art as transparent as possible.

How Blockchain Can Change the Art Industry

One of the main reasons why few people invest in art is because of its high cost, thus bringing prestige to being the owner. Now, imagine that you want to invest in a painting – not to show it at home, but to invest in it.

What if you could buy a “fraction” of that painting? This is possible with tokenized art—a token works as a share in the painting. An artwork is divided into a certain number of tokens and sold. All this is possible, thanks to Smart Contracts, in which the price and conditions are set. All this is on the blockchain, which means that it proves the ownership of each token holder. The best part of this is that communication with the artist is much more direct. There are no middlemen. Just like that, you are the proud owner of a piece of art.

Using the blockchain in the art industry can also verify the provenance of artwork. If an artist registers his or her works in the blockchain, its verification will remain there forever. Also preventing the forgery of their art. Even if the art was forged, the forgers would not be able to put it in the blockchain and verify it as the original. This is something proposals such as Verisart are taking care of. All art should be in the blockchain, so artists and investors know where the art is and who the owner is.

Imagine what could’ve happened if all of Van Goghs pieces were in the blockchain. Imagine how many people were defrauded with fake paintings. Imagine how much money was stolen with forged art. Now, let’s imagine a world without this – that’s a world of verified art in the blockchain.

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Edmund McCormack
Tech industry veteran and blockchain technology investor. Simplifying cryptocurrency for almost a decade.

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