Measuring Blockchain Risk in the Art Market

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This 7,700-word report was a first of its kind in the art market. The publisher, Art Market Guru, based in Brussels, wanted to get underneath the Wild West mentality that had taken hold of the global art market vis a vis investment in cryptocurrencies. The paper presents a methodology I developed for due diligence of blockchain projects in the sector, then applies the approach to projects underway at the time. The report helped build the credibility of the publisher in the art market as a critical voice of the new technologies flooding auction houses, art buyers, sellers, and artists. - Wim

We view Blockchain technology as full of promise for its capacity to bring greater transparency and trust to the art market. The technology also holds out the promise of speeding financial transactions involving the sale and insurance of art. It also has the potential to provide artists greater leverage in pricing their art. And Blockchain could allow them to share in the success of their own art as it increases in value.

However, Blockchain and the so-called “crypto-currencies” like Bitcoin and Ether that underpin Blockchain networks are still very new. Gartner, the technology research company, considers Blockchain still squarely in the early stages of adoption, entrenched in “hype”. Media attention and prognostications about Blockchain far outweigh its usefulness so far. Governments, banks, private equity investors, venture capitalists and high net-worth individuals are probing opportunities to make money from the new technology.

Though it is still early days in the implementation and practicality of Blockchain, early adopters and technology evangelists are trumpeting the technology has the potential to reshape the way businesses, individuals and even societies may interact. They claim Blockchain may be as revolutionary as the internet itself.

Though the authors of How to Evaluate the Risks of Blockchain in the Art Market remain agnostic about the degree to which Blockchain may revolutionize society, it is the case that there is a great deal of interest in Blockchain applications. However, as is always true with any investment, caveat emptor. And there are still many caveats involving the technology.

Read an abstract of the report here…

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