Christie's to auction off O'Keefe, Pollock with the help of blockchain
- British auction house Christie's is piloting a blockchain-based record of art transactions in a November sale of 20th century American art, according to a company announcement Thursday.
- The collaboration with digital art registry company Artory will provide the blockchain registry to log artwork information such as title, final price, description and date and provide digital transaction certificates.
- Buyers will be able to access the record with a registration card provided by Christie's. Blockchain builds off years of technology investments by the auction house, including augmented reality, mobile payments and live-streaming, according to the announcement.
If you thought Jackson Pollack, Georgia O'Keeffe and blockchain would never appear in the same sentence, think again. Even with the best blockchain available, art buyers are never fully protected: The distributed ledger technology certainly wouldn't have been enough to stop the antics of a mysterious artist and a hidden paper shredder.
Barney A. Ebsworth, the private holder of the collection featuring Edward Hopper's "Chop Suey," was credited as inspiration for incorporating the blockchain innovation into the auction. Now retired, Ebsworth stressed staying ahead of the curve during his time as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and real estate investor.
Earlier in the year, Christie's incorporated panels on blockchain technology in the art world at its Art+Tech Summit to explore the trust, transparency and user benefits of the technology.
Fine arts isn't the only lucrative field blockchain is infiltrating: The video game market is increasingly using the technology for transparency, decentralization and security, according to a report from Global Market Insights. Tapping into the $100 billion video game industry can help push blockchain to becoming a $16 billion market by 2024.
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