Starting this fall, art auctions will be taking the blockchain route as Christie’s is turning to the technology to encrypt the registration of its art transactions.
The London-based art auction house announced last week that it will be partnering with Artory, a blockchain-based digital registry for the art industry. The duo will be piloting encrypted storage of auction transactions and will begin the test with artwork pieces from An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection, from Christie’s upcoming November sale of artworks.
The 20th-century Modernist American art collection is estimated to bring in as much as $300 million. The collection will be unveiled at the Rockefeller Center, New York, from November 4. The Artory blockchain platform will provide an encrypted and secure certification of the sale to the successful bidder. Each buyer will also get access to the encrypted information about the artwork they purchased.
Richard Entrup, chief information officer at Christie’s, explained: “Our pilot collaboration with Artory is a first among the major global auction houses, and reflects growing interest within our industry to explore the benefits of secure digital registry via blockchain technology.”
The blockchain technology has been catching up to the complicated industries in the world. Nanne Dekking, CEO of Artory, explained the need for adopting new technologies, saying, “We are delighted to work with Christie’s on this industry-leading collaboration. As long-standing participants and business leaders within the global art market, the Artory team innately understands the needs of today’s art collectors and the broader desire within the industry to embrace new technologies that will help the marketplace evolve.”
The collaboration between Christie’s and Artory is seen as a much-needed development in the art industry. The art industry has been plagued with stolen, forged or misrepresented artworks. Recording the art purchases on the blockchain will help curb instances of stolen artworks. The Blockchain Art Collective (BAC) has been working towards presenting a tamper-proof seal to pieces of art to let others know that the information of that particular artwork had been registered on the blockchain. Hopefully, this will inspire trust and more confidence in the art industry.
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