I’m no art connoisseur however I know a great blockchain use case when I see one.
Crypto skeptics like to argue that the cryptocurrency market is significantly overvalued as there is little real world use case or tangible value offered by crypto projects justifying the exuberant valuations.
Enthusiasts tend to counter with examples of people — in particular those who are impoverished — using crypto to wire money to their family based overseas to avoid exorbitant fees associated with payment services such as Western Union. There is also the example of Bitcoin being used as a store of value to hedge against extreme hyperinflation as was witnessed in countries such as Venezuela and Argentina.
Due to crypto’s high noise to signal ratio there are afr lesser known crypto projects who have been quietly building behind the scenes as they slowly gain real world adoption. A project that stands out amongst the fray includes Factom, which has just announced their first live customer on their mainnet.
Factom is a fully decentralized public blockchain platform that records the existence of important documents and data in an honest and immutable way. Factom’s clients include the Department of Homeland and Security as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Data storage isn’t the sexiest topic in the world nor is it a topic you’d typically want to bring up on a first date, however as it pertains to blockchain technology, it is practically a match made in heaven.
One of the core primary features of blockchain is the immutability of transactions that are recorded in each block forming the chain of blocks. This means all finalized transactions stored in a block are tamper proof and cannot be modified and so by natural extension, storing, verifying, and recording the existence of important documents using blockchains is a great use case.
Art x Crypto
This serves as our starting point for where the world of art meets technology resulting in great potential for innovation and disruption in a market that has been relatively unscathed by the technological revolution, especially when compared to other industries.
When it comes to fine art, a primary issue is the authentication and verification of provenance of masterpieces. Fake inauthentic artworks that are forged by imitating renowned artists enter the art market each year.
This is where ArtWallet enters the fray by going beyond what Factom offers for data by catering blockchain specifically for the art industry. ArtWallet takes things a few further with the creation of a blockchain — known as the “DNAChain” — specifically for their artplatform ecosystem.
ArtWallet is a new crypto project building an ecosystem that merges the world of art and crypto together to form a new innovative, disruptive, and efficient way to buy, sell, and exchange art masterpieces.
To ensure the authenticity of masterpieces entering ArtWallet’s ecosystem, a multi-signatory process is undertaken where world class art authorities and experts are brought in to audit and inspect each masterpiece.
At the conclusion of this process, the “DNA” of each artwork gets stored on decentralized file storage systems to ensure that no single entity has the ability to tamper with or modify the authentication provenance data — aka the “DNA of the artwork”. The DNA of each artwork will include a high-resolution picture, title, artist’s name, date of creation, country of provenance, certificate of authenticity and other pertinent data.
Fractional Ownership of Art Masterpieces
Once a masterpiece has been certified as genuine, the artwork will go through what is known as the “Initial Art Offering” process where an auction is undertaken to essentially securitize the artwork with tokens that represent a piece and partial share in the artwork.
For example, if a Piccaso painting underwent an Initial Art Offering, the artwork could be securitized with 100 tokens where each token represented a 1% fractional ownership of the Picasso masterpiece.
With British artist Lincoln Townley recently selling an entire collection of art for cryptocurrency over a weekend through social media, there will clearly be demand for when ArtWallet’s platform is live.
Initial Art Offering
An initial art offering can be considered a “reverse-ICO” applied in the world of art.
Instead of conducting an “ICO” to raise funds for an artist to dedicate time and energy into creating a masterpiece, the initial art offering allows artists, galleries, museums, private collectors and owners of any masterpiece to tokenize and sell a portion— or all — of their masterpiece.
The ability to tokenize blue-chip and investment grade masterpieces will help democratize the art market by opening it up so that anyone willing to purchase a small share of a masterpiece can do so.
In short, everyday people — like you and me — will be able to enter the fine art market without losing our shirts to purchase and own a masterpiece, which was once only available to the rich and famous!
Perhaps It’s Time to Shakeup the Art Industry?
With the rise of technology we have seen an explosion in economic growth, innovation, and creativity throughout many global industries.
With the creation of personal computers, this opened up a tremendous gateway and opportunity for the masses to code and build software. No longer was this privilege restricted only to governments, universities, corporations or others who could afford to buy and house the once old massive computers required to program and code.
This revolution led to other industries and sectors being overturned such as the writing and publishing industry where people were able to connect to the internet to write, create, and share their writing through external websites, publications or even their own blog.
This transformation was greatly proliferated by Amazon, Wordpress, and publication websites such as Medium where amateur writers could freely share their writing into the world. This has created many well-known and best selling authors today who may have never seen the light of day if they were confined to the old standards and practices of the industry, such as Hugh Howey, Tucker Max, Tim Ferriss and many more.
Other industries have been greatly overturned due to the rise of Uber, AirBnB, YouTube, and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
These disruptive innovations has resulted in greater value, opportunities, and wealth being spread out to the masses and those who were courageous enough to take action. The people and corporations in positions of great power and influence near the top of these industries have had their influence weakened and profits squandered.
As more people entered these markets in droves — either as producers or consumers — this created an explosion in growth and a radically new way of how business was conducted. The art market has been slow to adopt technology and in changing its ways however with the incorporation of blockchain technology we may see the tides turn.
Non-Fungibles and the Collectibles Market!
The non-fungible and collectibles market is far greater in size than the fine arts market. And this has not gone unnoticed by crypto heavyweights as they’ve put their money where their mouth is after investing heavily into Cryptokitties May of this year.
Prestigious funds such as Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures led the way alongside angel investors Fred Ehrsam (co-founder of Coinbase) and Naval Ravikant (founder of AngelList).
ArtWallet has realized the massive potential that lies ahead of them if they are successful in their endeavors, which is why they have stated that the art market is only the beginning and that they intend to become a platform not only catering to art, but also the collectibles market too.
I’m excited to see how ArtWallet progresses as the art industry has been stagnant for quite sometime and it seems blockchain technology has the potential to shake the art world up for the better.
ArtWallet could be the solution to disrupt the fine arts market by opening the doors to a much larger audience, similar to how tech companies have done so for other industries around the world resulting in much greater opportunities and immense value being provided to all market participants.
If you would like to learn more about ArtWallet, check out these links: