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Benefits of Blockchain in the Art Industry — Important Use Cases

Cointime Staff· 5 min read

When most people think of blockchain, they think of Bitcoin. And when most people think of Bitcoin, they think of finance. But what a lot of people need to realize is that blockchain has applications far beyond finance. Blockchain is being used in some unexpected places…like the art world.

With its rich history and diversity of forms, art is one sector that has always been a form of expression, and it’s no surprise that people are willing to pay for what they believe is exclusive. The market in 2017 was worth $63 billion- which isn’t bad when you consider how much money some historical artifacts can bring.

Just like every industry, the art industry has its shortcomings. The art scene is no stranger to fraud forgery. It’s one of the most common problems the market faces. With so much money at stake, it’s no wonder that criminals are drawn to this lucrative industry.

In 2016, we saw several scandals involving forgery artists who sought to game the system with their crooked craft, from Korea’s most notorious master painter pawning works worth $260k onto unsuspecting couples or even whether one of 2017’s most valuable paintings — Caravaggio’s masterpiece (which sold at auction for 137 million dollars) might be authentic. This isn’t surprising considering how few people can afford pieces within this niche market- many wealthy individuals also feel excluded because they might be able to evaluate art pieces properly.

With the help of blockchain, we can finally solve these problems plaguing the art industry. The immutability aspect will also allow us to document art pieces’ ownership history on a ledger which might cut considerably on fake merchandise entering the legitimate marketplace. Blockchain could also be the future of democratization in art. And with recent developments and innovations like micro-investments, some say that this technology will soon change how we collect and enjoy fine Artwork forever.

Let's look at some of the use cases of Blockchain in the Art Industry.

Provenance Tracking

In the art world, Provenance refers to the history of an artwork — who created it, who owned it, and where it has been exhibited. This information is essential because it can affect an artwork’s value and authenticity. Unfortunately, provenance records are often lost or stolen, which makes it difficult to track an artwork’s history. However, blockchain provides a solution.

With blockchain, provenance information can be stored on a decentralized ledger that is secure and immutable. This means that provenance records can never be lost or tampered with, making it easy to track an artwork’s history — no matter where it goes or who owns it. As a result, blockchain-based provenance tracking is becoming increasingly popular in the art world to ensure artworks’ authenticity and protect their value.

Copyright Protection

Copyright law can be complex and enforcing copyrights can be even more complicated. But with blockchain, copyright protection can be much simpler and more effective. That’s because blockchain provides a way to digitally timestamp and watermark works of art so they can be easily identified and tracked.

This is valuable for artists because it allows them to easily prove that they are the original creators of their work — and if someone tries to copy or sell their work without permission, they can quickly take action to stop them. Additionally, by using blockchain to timestamp and watermark artworks, artists can automatically register their copyrights as soon as their work is created. This simplifies the copyright registration process and makes it harder for infringers to get away with stealing copyrighted works.

Authentication and Certification

One of the biggest challenges in the art world is authentication — determining whether an artwork is genuine. With forgeries becoming increasingly sophisticated, it can be difficult for experts to distinguish between a real work of art and a fake one. However, blockchain may provide a solution.

Blockchain-based authentication systems use cryptographic signatures and hashes to verify the identity of an artwork and its creator. These signatures and hashes are stored on a decentralized ledger, which means they cannot be tampered with or deleted. As a result, blockchain-based authentication systems are tamper-proof and highly secure — making them ideal for authenticating artworks. Additionally, these systems can also be used to issue digital certificates of authenticity (CoAs) for artworks that have been authenticated, which makes it easier for buyers and sellers to verify an artwork’s authenticity before making a purchase or sale.

Creating Digital Art

The range of possibilities is usually endless with today’s computer-produced art. The only thing surprising is how artistically crafted blockchains can make this digital creation much easier and more authentic than ever before.

Buying Artwork using Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency is perfect for when you want to buy a piece of Artwork. Eliminating banks and their slow processes, you can send large amounts without hassle, as cryptocurrency has quick transactions that happen immediately.

Easy Accessibility of Art

With the introduction of blockchain technology, anyone in any location can purchase original works. As these pieces are traded publicly on digital markets, they can be accessed by all members regardless of their social status or financial means, which was not previously accessible through traditional channels.

The use-value and ownership aspects that were once primarily available only within elite circles will soon become openly accessible to everyone.

Decentralizing Art MarketPlaces.

This is not to say that art galleries have now become extinct. Irrespective of world digitization, art galleries are still one of the best places to visit. However, blockchain has brought some innovation called a DAO art marketplace. With a decentralized blockchain marketplace, you can sell your Artwork and take bids from anywhere in the world. Smart contracts will help facilitate transactions, ensuring that funds and artworks go to whom they’re owed- without leaving a trace behind.

Conclusion

From Provenance tracking to copyright protection to Authentication certification — Blockchain has found its place in just about every industry — The Art World included! Who would have thought? Certainly not you! However, we are glad that this technology with such huge potential is being put to good use.

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