Culture / Art Republik

Cryptocurrency Payments are a Natural Fit for Art

The US$60 billion art world is warming up to cryptocurrencies partly because of blockchain’s ability to “commoditise” and establish the provenance of art

Dec 05, 2017 | By Jonathan Ho

Alan Robb, Selected Works – Dadiani Fine Art Gallery
17th November – 5th January

Mid 2017, Eleesa Dadiani of Dadiani Fine Art Gallery made the decision to become the first art gallery in the UK to accept multiple cryptocurrencies. The art gallery in London’s famous Cork Street was but one of a growing number of art galleries (including online galleries like Maecenas) accepting payment in something other than fiat currencies.

These art galleries were accepting virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Litecoin, and Aditus Tokens; beyond the fintech implications, this trend was emblematic of a wider phenomenon – cryptocurrencies are really going beyond the fad of a few small cafes selling coffee and cakes for a few tokens, a growing number of luxury items like this gold Rolls Royce, watches and now art are really communicating the case for cryptocurrency adoption and permanence, close to 10 years since their invention.

Cryptocurrency Payments are a Natural Fit for Art

“Many economists dismissed it as a flawed form of money, something that could never achieve the level of adoption that it has.” – Dr. Garrick Hileman, University of Cambridge economic historian to CNN

In a statement to CNN, Dr. Garrick Hileman, an economic historian at the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics opined that, “Many economists dismissed it as a flawed form of money, something that could never achieve the level of adoption that it has. Today we estimate 5 to 10 million unique active users of cryptocurrencies, and in my opinion that’s nothing short of a minor economic miracle.”

As a result, art entrepreneurs like Dadiani see a demand driven trend that confirms the increasing ubiquity of transacting with Bitcoin. In fact, cryptocurrency payments are fast becoming as normal as paying by cash and credit cards. In fact, the use of cryptocurrencies might even attract a new type of art consumer: tech savvy new millennials who are not your traditional art investor.

The US$60 billion art world is warming up to cryptocurrencies, partly because of blockchain’s ability to “tokenise” physical property as well as establish the provenance/authenticity of artworks and thereby reduce the reliance on brokers and other middlemen.

“We want to make fine art accessible for everyone, old auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s have controlled the art market for centuries, so we think the opportunity for disruption is huge.” – Maecenas CEO Marcelo Casil to BBC

Argentine-born, Singapore-based Marcelo Garcia Casil, Chief Executive and Co-founder of Maecenas, an online art marketplace is taking that blockchain technology a step further. In statement to BBC, Casil shared that addition to transacting in virtual currencies, the online art marketplace also enables art owners to sell shares in their expensive works of art with values worth over US$1 million. In short, owners keep possession of the artwork while earning revenue through sales of up to 49% of ownership. Investors, who ordinarily wouldn’t be able to afford multi-million-dollar works of art, will be able buy shares or units in the work using cryptocurrency.

Aditus Network will be debuting their luxury industry disruptive blockchain offering at Artstage 2018 where plans will be unveiled on how crypto-affluents can spend their cryptocurrency assets with partner art galleries. Visit Aditus.net for more information

 
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