Blockchain Shows Its Versatility in the World of Art

Executive Brief

Ensuring the validity of art has always been a troublesome process, with fragile documentation and vulnerability through movement causing many opportunities for problems. However, professional service firm Deloitte have recently announced a new proof of concept that aims to remedy this.

Based upon blockchain technology, the foundation of digital currencies, Deloitte have proposed a system that offers continued verification throughout an art piece’s life, from the artist themselves through transport organizations and galleries, providing a traceable record of the art piece from start to finish to ensure validity.

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Blockchain has made huge inroads into a huge variety of market sectors over the last 18 months, with new startups attracting high levels of funding across the board. One market that perhaps would not be first on the list for technological innovation is the art industry, however this is where blockchain is having its latest impact.

This is not the first look at utilizing the abilities of blockchain within the art industry, but professional service firm Deloitte are by far the largest business to have announced this kind of initiative. The concept they have recently proposed, names ‘ArtTracktive’, is to provide a channel for distributed information sharing amongst the art community, including artists themselves, galleries and art transport providers to provide ongoing and consistent authenticity verification of artwork across the industry.

The idea is that any artwork’s movement can be traced through any journey, and eventually the lifecycle of a piece of art can be recorded, making the entire history of that piece traceable. This ensures validity and acts as a highly secure and extremely robust solution to an ongoing problem. This is especially true in the high art world, where fragility of documentation for art provenance is a continuing issue the industry faces.

What is clear from this announcement is that we are only really scratching the surface of the potential for blockchain. The cryptocurrency industry of course benefits by association with these moves into alternative markets, but this particular application could fundamentally change the entire art industry and how it functions. Easily accessed, detailed accounts of all movements for an objects entire lifecycle could virtually eliminate the issue of validity of artwork over time. This kind of accountability may seem like a small change that affects few people, however being able to alter a high value market such as this one is a clear demonstration of the potential that cryptocurrency has, and can only be good for the industry as a whole.

The views expressed by the authors on this site do not necessarily represent the views of DCEBrief or the management team.

Author: Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore is a writer and researcher with a love for the eclectic, family and the world we inhabit. He spends his spare time photographing the varied wildlife that surrounds us daily and contemplating why Firefly never made it past season one.

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