Category Archives: art

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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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Blood, Lambos, Earn Kevin Abosh $1M from Crypto Art

An artist’s desire to experiment with conceptual cryptocurrency art connected to elements of his physical body, including his own blood and luxury icon Lamborghinis, have made Kevin Abosch over USD 1 million.

Kevin Abosch is a conceptual artist and photographer that lives in New York and has been experimenting with cryptocurrency art. One of his artworks, Forever Rose, is considered the most valuable virtual artwork in history and the most expensive piece of art ever stored on a blockchain.

In January, he created 10 million IAMA Coin tokens using the Ethereum ERC-20 protocol, and had the desire to not just let these tokens be pieces of digital art, but to somehow connect them to his physical body. He accomplished this by drawing six vials of blood, and then stamping 100 blockchain addresses where the IAMA Coins reside onto 100 separate pieces of paper using his blood.

There is a notion in the cryptocurrency world that profits from Bitcoin’s colossal rise are being used to buy Lamborghinis, the popular and extremely expensive Italian sports car, and Kevin Abosch made a piece of art based on this. He created an ERC-20 token named YLAMBO, short for Yellow Lamborghini, and turned its blockchain address into a glowing yellow neon sculpture. The sculpture was purchased by Michael Jackson – former Skype COO and not the deceased singer – for USD 400,000.

The most expensive piece of cryptocurrency art that Kevin Abosch has created has no physical presence, but a digital ERC-20 token named Forever Rose. The Forever Rose token was purchased by 10 collectors who spent USD 100,000 of cryptocurrency each. Payments were made via IAMA Coins and GTO Coins on the GIFTO platform, which is a decentralized exchange of virtual gifts. Each collector received a tenth of the Forever Rose. All the money collected from the sale of Forever Rose was donated to CoderDojo, which teaches children programming for free.

His next project is tokenizing Manhattan; he has created a token for every street on the island and printed ERC-20 contract addresses on a 6-foot high map. Collectors will be able to send a few dollars of Ethereum to each address in order to purchase the associated token.

Abosch’s Yellow Lambo sculpture and a picture of an IAMA Coin address stamped with his blood can be viewed in this New York Times article. He is planning on continuing his experimentation with cryptocurrency art.


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Art Auction Sells CryptoKitty For $140,000 in Ether

A CryptoKitty was sold for USD 140,000 (203.41 Ethereum) at the first Codex Protocol art auction during the 2018 Ethereal Summit. The ‘Celestial Cyber Dimension’ CryptoKitty is the most expensive in history, outpacing one which sold for USD 117,000 in December 2017.

CryptoKitties is an online game that is built off the Ethereum blockchain, currently the second most popular cryptocurrency and the basis of many decentralized applications because of its integrated smart contract technology.

Users can buy CryptoKitties in exchange for Ether, often for as little as USD 5 worth but obviously sometimes much higher as was the case during the Codex Protocol art auction. The cats have a unique 256-bit genome with DNA and ‘cattributes’, and these can be bred with each other to produce new types of cats. One of the main goals of the game is to breed rare specialized fancy cats which are far more valuable.

There is a digital marketplace where CryptoKitties can be bought and sold for Ether, so it is actually possible to make money playing the game if you have a knack for breeding highly sought after CryptoKitties. Each is a digital asset and has a non-fungible token corresponding to it on the Ethereum blockchain. The fact that they are stored in the blockchain makes CryptoKitties cryptographically secure, and makes it simple to prove authenticity and ownership via a private key.

The featured digital art item was created by art director Guilherme Twardowski aka Guile Gaspar. He showed off the picture of it, a grey-colored cat with a glowing purple and blue orb on its neck, on Twitter.

Celestial Cyber Dimension is on display at @ChristiesInc fur the @CodexProtocol #EtherealNY charity art sale. The live auction starts tomorrow.

— CryptoKitties (谜恋猫) (@CryptoKitties) May 12, 2018

It has a corresponding physical statuette which was given over to the winning bidder after payment. This statuette contains the private key and has a pixelated display showing the CryptoKitty. This is the first time an official physical statue has been made for a CryptoKitty.

The winner of the auction, Igor Barinov, says he spent so much money on this CryptoKitty because he loved the game, he liked the cat’s attributes, he enjoyed the real-life nature of this auction versus the typical digital auctions on the CryptoKitties websites, and he knew it was all going to charity.


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