Art + Blockchain
These are my takeaways from attending a conference merging my interests in art and technological innovation
To date, the art market relies on trust and personal relationships, demonstrating that there is no centralized institution or store of information. The industry heavily realizes on human expertise.
The widespread adoption of blockchain technology in the art market would allow ownership to remain confidential and simultaneously information on artworks to be fully transparent, including transaction history and provenance.
In order for blockchain to become truly the new indicator of legitimacy in this market, there would be need to be one industry-wide blockchain in order to form consensus from the art market established players. There is no current art market database that exists outside of the blockchain (yes seriously, it is the largest legal opaque market) and there would be significant legal and logistical parameters to do so-but it would be a game changer.
The decentralization would not solve the “garbage in/garbage out” problem of forgeries in the market, but one centralized location for information on art works would certainly help.
Blockchain is only 20% technology and 80% socialization—widespread adoption by market players is the key to unlocking the power of blockchain to transform the art market.