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Maecenas Teams Up with John McAfee to Tokenize Picasso Painting on the Blockchain


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A blockchain-based art investment platform has teamed up with John McAfee to tokenize a piece of fine art by Picasso.

Putting Art on the Blockchain

The investment platform in question is Maecenas. According to a blog post, it is teaming up with McAfee and crypto exchange Ethershift.co to bring artwork from Picasso to the blockchain.

It will be done under a project named Project Phoenix, with the aim of making the “painting perpetually inaccessible.”

This is not the first time Maecenas has tokenized fine art. In April of this year, the firm made headlines when it tokenized an Andy Warhol painting. By doing so, it made history by being the first, raising $1.7 million in the auction process. At the time, Marcelo García Casil, the CEO of Maecenas, said:

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.

Now, the company is moving on to Spanish painter Picasso. The auction for the as yet undisclosed painting is expected to take place at the end of the holiday season this year. Maecenas states that details will be announced in December. The company said in the blog:

The newly created digital asset, the first of its kind, will be represented as a single ERC721 token for the digitalized artwork. A fixed number of ERC20 tokens will separately represent shared ownership in the physical asset.

It goes on by saying that “Project Phoenix will be a fully decentralized exercise,” unlike previous asset tokenizations performed by the platform. It adds that the “resulting unique tokens will be created on the public Ethereum blockchain.”

It remains to be seen how much the painting will bring in. However, considering the popularity around Picasso’s paintings, it won’t be surprising if it generates more than the Warhol piece.

Democratizing the Art World

Democratizing the Art World

The aim of Maecenas is to change how we access fine art. Using the blockchain, it creates tamper-proof digital certificates linked to pieces of art.

According to its whitepaper, there is around $3 trillion worth of fine art in safe storage. Of that figure, $65 billion are traded each year through auction houses and art dealers. For many, fine art is considered a valuable and reliable investment, with interest in it rising. However, the market is also in need of updating.

This is where Maecenas steps in. By delivering transparency and liquidity it is giving investors the chance to invest in fine art through the blockchain.

Will you be investing in a piece of Picasso’s painting? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Rebecca Campbell
Rebecca Campbell
Rebecca Campbell is a freelance bitcoin and blockchain journalist based in England. She has a keen interest in the blockchain space and the use cases the technology is being in and is excited to see what new changes the distributed ledger brings to our day-to-day lives.


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