Cryptocurrencies Enter the Art World
Cryptocurrencies Enter the Art World: more online galleries accept Bitcoin
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are steadily becoming accepted as payment in art markets across the world.
Cryptocurrencies employ blockchain technology which records and verifies the transfer of ownership with each transaction.
This technology can be used to verify the provenance of traded works of art, minimizing the dependence on art dealers and other intermediaries.
Furthermore, the blockchain technology is impervious to theft and forgery.
Another positive feature of this new technology is that investors who previously could not afford multimillion dollar works of art are now able to own shares of these works.
Works that can later be sold for profit on the market.
The online market Maecenas, which uses Ethereum, gives customers this exact option.
Experts at Maecenas still verify the authenticity of the work, but only after establishing the provenance from the blockchain.
No further verification of provenance is necessary.
There are several other examples of cryptocurrency usage in the art world. The Vienna-based Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, as of April 2015, became the first museum in the world to acquire artwork using Bitcoin.
Another example of usage is online gallery Cointemporary which offers digital artwork exclusively in exchange for Bitcoin.
They use Coinbase, the universal bitcoin wallet, to carry out transactions.
Nonetheless, large auction houses such as Sotheby’s refuse to accept cryptocurrenices.
Hurdles to widespread usage contribute to the high volatility (fluctuation of value) of cryptocurrencies, which lack internal regulation.
At this moment, this problem has yet to be solved.