The art world is changing
Christie’s, together with Vastari e Christie’s Education, has promoted in London the first Art+Tech Summit focused on the potential of Blockchain for art.
The dialogue of experts from all over the world was aroused from a question: is the art world ready to explore the benefits of Blockchain?
The attention towards the new technologies supporting the art world has been the subject of the report Art&Finance 2018 published by Deloitte and Art Tactic.
The Report analysed the reputation and functioning of the art market, highlighting issues such as authenticity, price manipulation and lack of transparency, and envisaging a solution in the use of “increasingly precise analytical and management tools”.
“The art market is growing and the latest data confirm it“, emphasizes in his speech in London Sébastien Genco (Deloitte Blockchain Specialist), with “an increase in the total volume of transactions of over 70 billion dollars a year“. Although legal disputes are growing at the same time, linked in large part to the problem of forgeries, that only in 2014 report of the Fine Arts Expert Institute (FAEI) of Geneva established to be equal to 50% of the total market trade.
Blockchain technology is the solution for the benefit and protection of artists, collectors and operators in the sector, but again Genco confirms that “despite the numerous advantages offered by the new technology, only 5% is applied to art”.
The reason is obvious right away. There is a lack desire to know the real skills of using Blockchain from the various actors of the art world and the art market.
“We need to educate people” concludes Genco.
What is Blockchain?
Elliot Safra (Christie’s UK Chairman’s Office) and Bernadine Bröcker (CEO of Vastari) define Blockchain as a digital and decentralised register, with the chance for users to store information securely and firmly.
The entered data are stored in cryptographic blocks that form an incorruptible, immutable and traceable chain, whose verification is reliable to safeguard the privacy and security of the recorded information.
Anne Bracegirdle (Associate Vice President and Christie’s Specialist Photographs Department) to acknowledge that the use of professional tools based on Blockchain technology will allow to create “a more welcoming art ecosystem”.
Incorruptible and decentralised information, encrypted data and privacy and security safeguarding are equivalent to “more transparency, more trust and more transactions in a solid market” concludes Bracegirdle.
The future benefits, with the Blockchain applied to technological solutions of which Art Rights is an example, make it possible to overcome the limits that the art market still suffers, to protect and enhance the artistic heritage.
There are many areas of art world where the new technology can be applied.
The participation in the London summit of the greatest exponents of the art world, including Georgina Adam (Financial Times and The Art Newspaper), Sylvie Gleises (AXA Art), Ram Nadella (Paddle8), Daniel Doubrovkine (Artsy), is the proof of a real interest to deepen the potential of the Blockchain, as well as some issues including compliance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) theme highlighted by Jonathan Kewley (Clifford Chance Tech Group)
The old habits in the art world are hard to die, but its protagonists, given the great participation in Christie’s Art + Tech Summit, are interested in working in order experience the change.