Artworks are reflections of people's culture, ideas and history, and art is an integral part of society as a whole. Collectors know the value of art, and they pay handsomely for pieces that interest them—whether in true appreciation or as a form of investment.
Hence, it is of high importance that the authenticity of art pieces be properly tracked and for a registry of ownership be immutably recorded. And this is why blockchain solutions are now being used to address these concerns.
ITSEC R&D (IT Security Research and Development) founder Michal Leszczynski explained how blockchain solutions figure into the art industry when he delivered his speech at the BSV Global Blockchain Convention in Dubai in May. Leszczynski spoke about how the Art enRoll app, equipped with APIs to connect with the BSV blockchain and built on chain through UNISOT integration, may solve lingering issues in the art industry.
Secure Order Tracking with Art enRoll
Leszczynski emphasizes that Art enRoll can address industry-specific challenges like artwork transfer between galleries, shipping issues, provenance and order monitoring.
“Galleries often lend art pieces to other galleries for exhibits, and they struggle to track those orders, as it becomes nearly impossible for them to determine their location due to a lack of system in place,” Leszczynski said.
Authentication is still another major concern when people pay thousands and millions of dollars for original artworks, Leszczynski said. Yet many are still fooled into buying counterfeit art, prompting Poland-based Art enRoll to provide three-factor authentication.
The process begins with identifying the art's provenance and whether or not it is original. It is followed by on-chain monitoring, which links information on public transportation systems, insurance companies, previous owners and galleries. Finally, tracking informs and reassures the borrower or buyer that their artwork is authentic and secure.
Artory for Artwork Digital Registry
Art enRoll is not the first to lend a hand to the sector. The London-based art auction house Christie's announced in October 2018 its partnership with Artory, an artwork digital registry blockchain solution. The team will use pieces from Christie's November collection, An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection, as test subjects for encrypted storage of auction transactions.
Given the collection's estimated value of $300 million, Artory has decided to provide the winning bidder with a safe and encrypted sale verification. The encrypted information on the piece of art will likewise be made available to each buyer.
Christie's CIO Richard Entrup explained that the pilot collaboration demonstrates rising industry interest in exploring the advantages of secure digital registers using blockchain technology. Artory CEO Nanne Dekking also expressed her enthusiasm for the initiative and how embracing new technologies would help the marketplace, especially since blockchain is catching up to art businesses.
“Our pilot collaboration with Artory is a first among the major global auction houses, and reflects growing interest within our industry to explore the benefits of secure digital registry via blockchain technology,” Entrup remarked.
Artory and Christie's partnership is seen as a much-needed advancement in the industry, especially given the extensive history of theft, forgery and misrepresentation in the art market. Meanwhile, the Blockchain Art Collective (BAC) has been developing a tamper-proof stamp to be applied to artworks, alerting others that a specific piece of art's information is recorded on the blockchain.
Art Piece Authentication through ArtBid
Buzzmint Director of Ideation and co-founder Charles Alexander Symons also disclosed that a historical painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir would be auctioned off alongside its digital twin on the BSV blockchain for $3 million. Symons said the sale of the Renoir painting would boost blockchain's reputation in the art world and mark a huge milestone for BSV.
“This collaboration announces the marriage of BSV and classical art to the world—an exchanging of vows if you will; Renoir did after all paint Richard Wagner’s portrait—who in turn composed the Bridal ChoBuzzmint, which enables brands to create tokens quickly and easily and NFTs of their digital assets, has been working to on-board U.K. and Poland-based Art1Bid onto Buzzmint and the BSV Blockchain.rus,” Symons shared.
“Buying a Renoir is of course a significant investment, but we do not anticipate this putting off a few individuals within the BSV space who will see this not just an extraordinary opportunity to own this amazing piece of art but also a watershed moment,” Symons added.
Using the native data storage offered by the BSV blockchain, ArtBid can create an immutable footprint of an image based on professional and scientific data. This, together with a digital proof of ownership, opens the door for new creative business models and increases the sector's appeal as an investment opportunity.
On top of immutability and transparency of records, the BSV Blockchain also offers the lowest transaction fees, averaging 1/20 to 1/100 of a cent per transaction. And the fees will further be reduced in the future.
This is because the BSV Blockchain has unlocked its capacity for limitless scaling, which means that as the network scales, it can accommodate bigger data blocks and higher throughput, which then lowers transaction fees.
The initiatives mentioned will not only build trust and confidence in the industry by overcoming its long-standing issues with artwork authentication, but also offer collectors peace of mind when buying expensive art. This demonstrates that blockchain solutions are relevant to any industry.
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