From bond issuances to educational certificates, blockchain technology is increasingly finding new use-cases every day. Stepping aside from its use in financial and industrial sectors, the ethereum blockchain will be utilized in June 2018 to facilitate the auction of Andy Warhol’s 1980 work 14 Small Electric Chairs for cryptocurrencies.
The auction will be carried out by Dadiani Fine Art in London’s Mayfair district, in partnership with blockchain platform Maecenas Fine Art. Overall, 49 percent of Warhol’s works will be up available for sale on June 20, and the auction house will accept bitcoin and ethereum as payment.
Regarding price, the piece is valued at 732 BTC or $5.6 million at the time of writing, and would undoubtedly change as per market conditions on the day of the auction. Reportedly, the reserve price is 25 BTC or $4 million. The auction house strictly requires potential buyers to comply with local regulations.
While will not be the first time an art piece is bought using cryptocurrency, it is thought to be the most expensive and high most high profile. In January 2018, the Art Stage Singapore witnessed the sale of four paintings in exchange of cryptocurrencies.
The founder of Dadiani Syndicate, Eleesa Dadiani, explained the development:
“We aim to render the future of fine art investments to global reach. The cryptocurrency will broaden the market, bringing a new type of buyer to art and luxury.”
Dadiani fancies herself as the “Queen of Crypto,” and earlier told The Times that the “world’s wealthy are looking for new ways to invest and the millionaire is changing.” Echoing her thoughts is Maecenas Chief Executive, Marcelo García Casil, who believes the sale “would help transform the art market.”
“We’re making history. This Warhol is the first artwork of many more to come,” Casil added.
The auction will be conducted on the Ethereum blockchain, and a smart contract will determine the final price for Warhol’s painting.
While whispers have previously been heard in the art world about blockchain making an impact in their sector, not much of a fruition has been witnessed yet. Undoubtedly, blockchain’s immutable properties can be of great help in the art domain – an industry mired with fakes and unregulated pricing.
At a recent convention in London, the co-founder of blockchain identify company Codex Protocol, Jess Houlgrave, stated that over 40 percent of all art pieces on the market are fraudulent. In this regard, blockchain’s benefits immediately come to mind – specifically the maintenance of traceable records on a public database that art collectors can view to verify their pieces.
Andy Warhol art image from Shutterstock.