After decades of facing the strokes of counterfeiting and intermediary price manipulation against its palette, the art industry is ready to turn its pages into the world of blockchain.
The art market has been facing the issues of counterfeiting and fraud for decades. By providing a mechanism for validating the authenticity of the artwork as well as transparency in its chain of custody and sales history, allows for the market to be cleansed and revitalized into the elegant beauty it once was.
“The art market is a bit of an enigma, you don’t really get a chance to know the ins and outs of what happening as an artist, you don’t really know what the gallery is doing in terms of authenticating the work, it’s more taking someone at their word,” said Graham Goddard, CEO of AllPublicArt (APA), a P2P art community designed to address these very issues.
#1: Moving Away From Tradition
Today, block-chain is extremely attractive to the art community. The challenge in making the transition into the space is educating the global art community about what block-chain is and the benefits it could bring to all those parties involved.
“The art industry remains traditional where pivoting with technology and innovation, has just been a challenge,” said Goddard. The art world has giants when it comes to business, due to the dominance of big named art galleries and auction houses. It becomes increasingly difficult to help pivot the global art community into a situation that allows these parties to be more flexible with making themselves financially free and helping the entrepreneurial artist to thrive.
An artist, used to keeping a paper-trail of documents to help verify their portfolio, becomes tedious, and sometimes burdensome, as some have to manipulate alot of information. However, by creating a digital trail or history from the work’s creation to its next hanging spot, this allows artists to move into a new marketing space entirely. Art galleries or other collectors are in turn able to verify the history and artist’s portfolio without having to take someone at their word.
Bringing artists and their work into the blockchain opens up other avenues–the ability for other artists to connect to one another in addition to creating a digital online market; purchasing tools and canvases at discounted rates.
For art aficionados who have to jump through many financial hoops to ensure that the work of art they are purchasing or selling is in fact authentic, the block-chain would essentially attach a digital certificate of authenticity to the work itself, which is then able to be utilized for future sales and transactions.
By utilizing smart contracts, each artist and artwork would have their own unique ID, allowing every transaction to be verified and secured in the marketplace. Placing these contracts on the block-chain, reduces the need and potential for the manipulation of facts or details concerning an artist or their work.
While the current market isn’t as transparent as it should be, or as patrons would like it to be, the block-chain would provide as much transparency as possible, ensuring that an artworks data is verifiable to institutions, law enforcement, collectors, and art galleries, but keeping the identity of collector’s protected.
#3: Reducing Intermediary Costs
“The art market is unique in that we have intermediaries that will always be here,” said Goddard. They are healthy for the market and they drive the momentum of moving art in general. However, the problem we see, is that artists are subject to intermediaries.
By reducing the need for intermediaries in the equation, allows for artists to feel more empowered and more connected to those interested in their work. “In the past, we’ve all needed them, especially as a young artist trying to make a name for myself,” said Goddard. It’s nice to keep them involved, but even nicer not to need them.
What Does The Palette Look Like In The Future?
The art industry has a bright future. It just takes a little push and a few extra strokes on the canvas to get the ball rolling.
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