Category Archives: 14 Small Electric Chairs

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John McAfee Hooks up With Art Platform to Auction Picasso

Ex-security software guru, turned crypto and blockchain enthusiastic, not to mention a would-be presidential candidate John McAfee seems to be everywhere these days, hence his latest dip into the world of fine art.

In his latest role as blockchain influencer, McAfee is turning to the tokenization of classic paintings, with Picasso set firmly in his sights. To this end, he’s teamed up with Blockchain-based art investment platform Maecenas and ERC20 crypto exchange Ethershift in order to produce what is hailed as the first “perpetual digitalization and tokenization of a Picasso’s work of fine art.”

The team, codenamed “Project Phoenix,” plans to auction the as yet unnamed Picasso this December and has announced the event on the Maecenas website:

“The auctioning process will be executed using Maecenas technology. 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.”

This is not the first of McAfee’s forays into the art world after Andy Warhol’s ‘14 small electric chairs’ were tokenized earlier this year with 31.5% of the painting’s value sold to investors who paid in either BTC or ETH. Maecenas offered immutable purchase history and ownership information on the Warhol, connecting investors and art dealers on the platform while running a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. McAfee was proud to announce his latest art coup on Twitter:

“I am helping to tokenize rare art objects – a groundbreaking Blockchain application. We will auction a tokenized Picasso at the end of December. This is our second tokenized painting. The first was a resounding success.”

With Project Phoenix soon to see its tokens available to the public on the Ethereuem blockchain, there is a risk that McAfee invites the usual “shilling” accusations from his critics – the spreading of positive information about a product which may or may not be accurate in order to gain investor interest. It has been noted that McAfee tweets about new blockchain enterprises or projects often lead to huge price gains, opening him up to accusations of manipulating investors.

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‘World’s First’ Crypto Art Auction to Sell Andy Warhol Painting via Blockchain

Blockchain platform Maecenas announced Wednesday its plans to hold the “world’s first cryptocurrency art auction”, featuring a piece by famed artist Andy Warhol, as reported by Cointelegraph.

Crypto-friendly art auction

The auction will be held at UK fine art gallery Dadiani Syndicate on 20 June, with a 49% ownership stake of Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs up for sale. The piece is part of Warhol’s 1980 Reversal series, currently valued at USD 5.6 million, with a reserve price set for the part-ownership at USD 4 million.

Digital certificates will be issued confirming part-ownership upon purchase via the Maecenas blockchain platform. The acquisition can be made with either Maecenas’s ART token, Bitcoin, or Ether. To make the purchase of Warhol’s piece, buyers must be fully KYC and AML compliant.

Maecenas offers immutable purchase history and ownership information, connecting investors and art dealers on the platform while running a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain for this particular piece.

Cryptocurrency is becoming an increasingly popular payment method for art investors. In 2017, the Dadiani gallery began accepting cryptocurrency payment methods, as did the luxury market alternative Dadiani Syndicate which accepts Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin.

Blockchain solutions

Blockchain can offer a practical solution to issues regarding copyright, ownership, and authenticity, problems faced in the art industry but certainly not restricted to it.

Sam Radocchia, co-founder of art blockchain authentification platform Chronicled described the main ambitions of the company as ”improving provenance and reducing art forgery“.

Registering art on the blockchain creates a cryptographic link between a physical work and the blockchain, meaning once it is registered, its identity can be automatically authenticated for potential buyers. This eliminates any forgeries or shady dealings from taking place.

There is also the added benefit of being able to monitor pieces of art while they are traveling. Blockchain has the potential to let buyers track the entire journey of their purchase on a mobile app, ensuring what they receive is true to what they paid for.


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