Backing Physical Creativity with Blockchain
The crypto industry’s reach has already begun to change the way we perceive value in the computerized world. Digital art and collectibles in particular are already reaping the benefits of absolute provenance, tokenization, and unmediated liquidity, finally solidifying the value of online objects.
But what about real world items? Your painting, your car, your house, even your beloved pet, how can we begin to leverage blockchain to prove we have ownership over the physical things we have around us? Linking the objects we’ve always had with the decentralized global network sounds ideal, but is there an effectual way of achieving this? Today, we have a special guest, the Blockchain Art Collective, who will help us understand a major step in this direction.
The Creative Crypto (CC): What is the Blockchain Art Collective and what are you trying to disrupt? What’s the real pain point in the art world that you’d like to change?
Blockchain Art Collective is a global arts ecosystem using blockchain and IoT technology to catalyze the development of the New Art Economy. With Chronicled, Inc., we have deployed smart Certificates of Authenticity—turnkey secure, physical-digital links—to track and protect the identities of precious artworks and artifacts.
The platform provides unprecedented provenance and asset management capabilities, as well as alternative means of monetization of artworks via tokenization, fractional ownership, and resale rights.
Currently, authentication for physical artworks is manual, offline, and fragmented. We are uniting the art world around an operating system that improves trust for all parties involved, returns value from artworks to their rightful authors and owners, and embraces the efficiencies of implementing new technology in outdated systems.
CC: Why did you choose the name – Blockchain Art Collective?
We chose the name Blockchain Art Collective in efforts to be straightforward and transparent about what we do. While we do enjoy thinking abstractly as artists and art lovers, we want our platform to be accessible to both newcomers and OG pioneers in this space. There is still a ton of education needed for mass understanding of the benefits and further, adoption, of this technology—both of which we care very deeply about. As such, we decided to remove some barriers to achieving those goals with our naming so we can reach and educate a wider audience.
As we look towards use cases and adoption in the art world, how do you foresee people or institutions using your certificates?
For artists, this is truly revolutionary. Every “startup” says this, but it really is true. A lot of people and companies in the space are tackling digitally native art, which is awesome, and that certainly pertains to our platform, but we have been particularly interested in bringing the benefits of the online world to the offline art world. Artists can self-register their artworks to blockchain (having been vetted first to be a real human connected with a portfolio of work that is their own—soon self-sovereign identities will be taking care of this). This means they can, for an extremely affordable price, let people know key information about an artwork and who the author is. This information and identity stays with the artwork for life, and allows artists to fight rip offs, track provenance over time when they transfer ownership, and collect royalties long after the artwork has left their hands. Why can’t a starving artist get a cut of a $100K sale of their work if people find it so valuable?
The same goes for institutions. People buy things that have gone under the hammer and have to trust that it was in fact a Modigliani, one of the most faked artists in history, and fork over lots of money with (some level of) these unknowns. How do people actually know that a work that they are investing in is one of a kind? To date we have paper trails and word of mouth, but we can do better than that now. We are excited to continue working with authentication experts and new technologies as there certainly remains a place for them in the process of authentication, particularly when a living artist can’t attest authorship themselves. We are excited to give buyers and owners a new level of confidence in the provenance and value of works.
Additionally, many institutions get and give works on loan on a regular basis, so with all of these precious objects in transit, it is very valuable to have confidence in which piece of art is where and when, and that it has not been tampered with or switched out for another work. Alternative fundraising models are the other element that we are excited about here—most arts institutions rely on public and/or private donors to stay afloat. Now there is an option to monetize inventory in a way where they can liquidate on fractional investment in the immediate term for acquisitions, capital projects, or other larger goals without having their inventory leave their hands. This is very exciting to put this new kind of fundraising power into their hands.
CC: Do you think we’ll see more physical products like yours showing up in the blockchain space? What’s the potential here?
No question. Again, tons of companies have popped up in the space since we began investigating the benefits of blockchain for art a few years ago, and they are tackling a variety of needs that this outdated world is so ripe for.
“This information and identity stays with the artwork for life, and allows artists to fight rip offs, track provenance over time when they transfer ownership, and collect royalties long after the artwork has left their hands. Why can’t a starving artist get a cut of a $100K sale of their work if people find it so valuable?” – Jackie O’Neill
Our products have been in development since 2014 and we are pleased to be coming to the market with these solutions now that there is so much positivity in the space. This was not the case before 2017. Talking to galleries in New York from Chelsea to Bushwick in early 2017, no one had heard of blockchain for art, let alone blockchain, and even Bitcoin in some cases. Fast forward to Fall 2018—things look a little bit different now. While others will come online to tackle these particular issues, we do feel confident about the time we have put in so far to stay a step ahead in delivering a useable product to our desired user base (artists and arts institutions).
CC: With the new app and sticker launch, what will be some near-future developments for the Blockchain Art Collective?
Right now our current app features include registration and verification of artwork on a blockchain. We are working on token and wallet integrations for transferring and fractionalizing ownership, as well as built in royalties. We are sharing our beta app with early adopters to get feedback and refine the product and continue to grow our base of connected artists and institutions. We are also looking at integrations with other secure identity protocols and authentication software.
Thank you to the Blockchain Art Collective for joining us today! Be sure to follow their ongoing updates for more insight into their upcoming product release!