How and why to hang artworks on the blockchain (infographic)

Andrew Munro 17 May 2018 NEWS

Forgery is a bigger problem than literally anyone knows. Blockchain presents a permanent solution.

The worlds of art and technology have been colliding for as long as either has existed, and it's probably no surprise that art and blockchain technology are combining as well.

Some of the more direct ties are individual artworks, such as TORCHED H34R7S by Marguerite deCourcelle, which coded an extraordinarily clever key into the painting itself, used to unlock about $50,000 worth of bitcoin. Other combinations are blockchain solutions that run around the outside of the industry as a whole, aiming to solve problems in the multi-trillion dollar arts and collectibles industry.

Blockchain might seem like an unlikely counterpart for the art world, but it might actually be a better counterpart than almost any other technology.

This is mostly because it's the first time anyone has been able to create an unreplicable, counterfeit-proof digital one-and-only. This function is how it can be used to create counterfeit-proof digital currencies, proof of ownership of creative works, truly rare digital collectibles, video game DRM solutions that actually work, and more. Anyone can copy bitcoin and create as many tokens as they want, but it will always be clear which are the originals and which are the imitations.

This is how there can definitively be only 21 million bitcoin in existence even though anyone can make more coins any time they want. It's also how there can now only be one of each artwork, even though anyone can make as many forgeries as they want.

By some estimates up to 40% of the big ticket artworks in circulation today are forgeries. Which ones are and aren't, and whether the originals even exist anymore, is simply an unsolvable mystery.

Take a look at some of the wider applications of blockchain technology in art, and some pretty pictures, with an infographic, kind courtesy of CoinCentral.com.

It would be pretty ironic if someone plagiarised this infographic.


blockchain art infographic

Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC, XRB

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Latest cryptocurrency news

Picture: Shutterstock

Latest crypto guides

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Privacy & Cookies Policy and Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site