Several industries are increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies with an aim of taking advantage and causing some disruption in their markets. The latest entrant into the blockchain industry is the art trading business which is seeking to use cryptocurrencies to expand payment methods for investors who wish to put their money in art works. Driving this initiative is a London art gallery which says it will start auctioning part of the Andy Warhol’s work for cryptocurrencies.
World’s first cryptocurrency art auction
The auction will be undertaken by Maecenas, a blockchain platform and will be the first cryptocurrency art auction ever launched in the world. In a statement, the platform said it will be selling portioned ownership of Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs, which are valued at $5.6 million at UK fine art gallery Dadiani Syndicate on June 20.
Maecenas intends to sell 49% interest the art work, which is part of the Warhol’s Reversal series produced in 1980. Through this offer, buyers will be able to acquire digital certificates that would represent partial ownership on the Maecenas blockchain platform. Customers will acquire partial ownership using their ART token plus Ethereum (ETH) or Bitcoin (BTC).
Maecenas specializes in the development of tamper-proof digital certificates which are connected to works of art on blockchain. This allows investors to trade them on the Maecenas exchange.
Determining the final price
In the press release, Maecenas said that although a smart contract that is supported by the Ethereum blockchain will establish the final price for the artworks; the exchange has set the reserve price at $4 million. In addition, the exchange said that all investors that wish to buy the paintings will be required to undergo and comply with all AML and KYC checks.
The Dadiani Fine Art gallery started accepting payment in form of cryptocurrencies in 2017. The Dadiani Syndicate, which is operated as a luxury marketplace has added Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum and Bitcoin to its payment options. Blockchain technology has in the past been applied in the art market as a solution to many problems of copyright, verification, ownership as well as valuation and authenticity of pieces of artwork.