“smART” Art Explained – More Than Just Proof of Provenance

August 21, 2018

“smART” Art Explained – More Than Just Proof of Provenance

Continuing our series of posts explaining how “smART” Art solves several issues for artists, and how “smART” enabled artwork combats counterfeits and provenance fraud – this post covers the additional features and subsequent benefits Thomas Crown “smART” Art provides as a result of integrating blockchain with the art world.

Increasing Confidence by Fighting Forgery

As we have covered in previous posts, it would appear there is little doubt that the amalgamation of blockchain technology with the art world has many obvious and immediate benefits with regards to combating forgery of both the art itself and the accompanying provenance. Both areas mean increased confidence in the art market, artists, dealers and collectors alike – whilst the confidence and security alone won’t turn a new artist into a master overnight – it does open up new possibilities for today’s artistic generation.

Adding Value to Art

Whilst most blockchain art projects are focused on the provenance and security areas of the market (and rightly so), few have incorporated anything further with respect to “adding value” beyond the improved chain of provenance aspect. When the concept for Thomas Crown Art was initially discussed, a few points continued to surface along the lines of how it might be possible to increase appeal, audience reach and potentially the value of the artwork and prints.

"Tokenise" or "Walletise"?

Hence the “walletisation” of art itself. Most blockchain art related projects are currently focused on what is known as “tokenisation” – in laymen terms this equates to assigning each piece of art a token with the initial information about the artwork written to it and stored on the blockchain so it can be queried later. Obviously an immutable database of provenance is of great value to the industry as a whole, but achieves little with respect to expanding the appeal, audience and value over the short term.

“Walletisation” takes the tokenisation concept several steps further – Instead of assigning artwork to token records, the process of walletisation assigns a smart contract to each piece of art or print. Tokenisation is essentially a single record for a single item – think of it as a unique label for an object, which once written, cannot be changed. Walletisation is achieved using a smart contract instead. The smart contract is written to include the ability to hold a cryptocurrency wallet that is only accessible by the current artwork owner. The wallet within the smart contract can receive funds which the artwork owner can then transfer out from the artwork wallet anytime they choose to. Again, in laymen terms, walletisation could be likened to a more technical version of the traditional money-box or piggy-bank – it can hang on the wall and anyone can transfer cryptocurrency to it just by scanning the QR code, whilst only the artwork owner can access the wallet to transfer funds.

New Revenue Streams for Artists and Exhibitors

Beyond the relatively simple appeal of an attractive money-box hanging on a wall – the added functionality opens up new doors with respect to revenue streams in the art industry. Artists can exhibit their works and solicit donations directly to the artwork itself from appreciative viewers. Gallery owners and exhibition organisers can also take advantage of the extended functionality when promoting artists work, and of course, there is always the business and charity angle – by displaying walletised art in high traffic locations and venues the artwork will draw attention and potentially revenue from those inclined.





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