A blockchain-based auction recently made history as being the first to launch a profitable tokenization of an Andy Warhol painting, raising $1.7 million in the process.

Blockchain technology is continuing to make headlines all over the world. More and more people and businesses are realizing its potential and the fact that it is so much more than a crypto-supporting technology. It’s also filtering into non-financial industries, showing its adaptability and versatility. Now, according to RealWire, the technology is being used in the art industry in another world-first.

A piece of artwork was recently tokenized and put on auction, allowing 100 participants to invest in it. This wasn’t a run-of-the-mill still life of a bowl of fruit, though. It was Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs, certified and appraised at $5.6 million. The auction. which began on the July 25th, raised $1.7 million, which is 31.5% of the completed work.

The initiative was made possible by a collaboration between Maecenas, a blockchain-based art investment platform, and Dadiani Syndicate, an innovative platform assisting crypto holders in the purchase of high-value real-world assets.


Tokenization Revolution

Basically, the tokenization process involves digitally breaking down the artwork into fractions or “tamper-proof digital certificates.” Interested parties can then purchase these with cryptocurrency. In this case, Maecenas accepted payment in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and their native currency, ART tokens.

Marcelo García Casil, the CEO of Maecenas, spoke about the significance of this latest example of blockchain usage, saying:

This is a historical moment, for us and for the blockchain community. We have achieved a significant milestone that marks the beginning of a new era. Tokenization of assets is the most prominent and exciting use case of blockchain technology, and we’re proud to be pioneers in this space. This Warhol painting is the first of many more to come and we are looking forward to seeing and leading the financial revolution for the art market.

The founder of Dadiani Syndicate, Eleesa Dadiani, elaborated:

This auction was unchartered territory; a new model in an age-old market. The unprecedented demand, and speed with which the first fraction has been sold, has gone a long way to validating our vision of a more democratic and open art investment market.


More Than Just the Money

Although scheduled to run for four weeks, the smart contract-based auction ended after just two highly successful weeks. More than 800 people signed up to be a part of it. However, only 100 investors qualified, comprised of both industry experts and crypto traders.

All of the sales of the auction will be recorded on Maecenas’ blockchain as will any subsequent trading of investors’ complete or fractioned artworks and certificates. This type of transparency and peer-to-peer trading is exactly what the platform is hoping to encourage in the art industry.

While the auction raised a substantial amount, Maecenas was more interested in showing how blockchain technology and tokenization can be instrumental in democratizing the industry. Judging by the numbers and level of interest, this goal seems to have been reached.

Do you think blockchain is the way forward in the art industry? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Pixabay and Shutterstock.

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