Christie’s Auction House Leads Art World in Blockchain Tech
Christie’s recently announced the introduction of a system for recording art transactions on blockchain. The decision is just the latest example of how the tech is catching on inside of the art world.
Leading auction house Christie’s announced a new system utilizing blockchain to encrypt the registration of art transactions for a November sale.
The company is planning to sell a variety of major artworks from one of the most extensive privately-held collections of American art from the last century. According to early estimates project that the artworks could command more than $300 million at auction.
Richard Entrup of Christie’s said the blockchain-based registration system arose out of a partnership with Artory, who is a well-known digital registry for the art market.
According to Entrup, the upcoming art sale will give collectors and clients a way to
Explore the advantages of having a secure encrypted record of information about their purchased artwork.
Buyers will be able to access a secure record of information about their purchase that includes the description, final price, and verification of the transaction.
The decision by Christie’s to integrate blockchain into the art world seems to signify the cutting-edge technology is starting to catch on in a complicated, high-end industry.
Putting An End To Stolen Art?
Blockchain has been the recipient of buzz within of the art community due to its storage capabilities. The idea of a legitimate and secure digital record of a work’s provenance has figures in the art world embracing the idea that blockchain could be used to drastically slash instances of stolen or misrepresented work.
Geneva-based Fine Arts Expert Institute said in 2014 that more than half of all artwork they looked at was either forged or not associated with the right artist.
The Blockchain Art Collective (BAC) has been working to register art onto distributed ledgers by attaching tamper-proof seals to pieces of art. The idea is to let others know that a particular work has its information on a certain blockchain.
Startups like the BAC hope these virtual authenticity certificates will inspire more confidence in the art market, especially for higher-priced pieces.
Bringing A Crypto Arts Culture To Life
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech has also become a popular subject for a growing number of artists who are interested in investigating concepts related to the digital world.
Some street artists have begun to create public displays paying homage to popular virtual currencies like Bitcoin. Instagram user @thisisludo posted a photo of a creation that depicted giving “power to the people.”
Otherwise, crypto-themed art has slowly been making its ways into traditional art circles. One serigraph containing the word “HODL,” mimicking Robert Indiana’s famous “LOVE” sculpture, sold at auction for $8,000 to Mike Novogratz. Another crypto-inspired work by cryptograffiti sold for $33,000.
What are your thoughts on blockchain, crypto, and its relationship with the art world? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of, Bitcoinist archives, Christie’s, Instagram (@thisisludo), Wassilykandinsky.net.