Blockchain distributed ledger technology seems to be very useful for the arts industry, it can help solve the main problem of the sphere - intellectual property registration. It is very easy - the system helps claim property rights to the pieces of arts that are very difficult to forge. Perhaps, that’s why 2015 was rich with art projects applying Bitcoin and the Blockchain.

Cointelegraph talked to Masha McConaghy PhD, a curator and co-founder of the Berlin-based startup, Ascribe, that works in the arts industry. She outlined some of the most interesting art projects of 2015 that use Blockchain technology, saying that “2016 will be an interesting year”. She added:

“In the physical art world there is a great need in clean provenance. Here where blockchain technology will play an important role. In Germany, especially after the discovery of Gurlitt Collection the Provenance research became the most important topic. The unregulated art market is in need for transparency and regulation and blockchain can dress a lot of issues”.  

Masha McConaghy PhD, a curator and co-founder of Ascribe

Left Gallery

It is a digital gallery, launched by the successful Dutch, Berlin-based artist Harm van den Dorpel. The project helps artists selling their works which are “downloadable objects”. Left Gallery uses Bitcoin as a payment option.


IkonoTV is the first television channel broadcasting art 24/7 in HD. The channel collaborates with more than 1000 international artists, over 200 collections, archives and the most significant museums of the world.  IkonoTV is using the Blockchain to make sure their artists are properly attributed. The technology is also applied to signing contracts cryptographically so that copyrights are always clear. The channel reaches a viewing audience of more than 300 million people.


Cointemporary is an online platform for exhibiting and selling artwork. The platform is dedicated to a single piece of art for 10 days, during which it is exhibited and can be sold for a fixed price in Bitcoins. After the work is sold or the 10 day period passes, the platform exhibits another piece of art for another 10 days. Cointemporary is a project by two Vienna-based artists, Valentin Ruhry and Andy Boot, that pioneered selling art for Bitcoin, and more recently blockchain-ascribed digital art. Masha McConaghy stated “they are going to dedicate the 2016 only to digital works”.


N3uro is a marketplace that sells thoughts. Literally. The platform captures brainwaves of people, and sells the recordings of those brainwaves as limited digital editions. Literally, they sell blockchain-ascribed brain scans. The official N3uro website states that “these limited digital editions are possible via a combination of copyright & contract law, and the bitcoin blockchain as an ownership registry”.


Plantoid is a Blockchain-based robot that uses Bitcoin donations to replicate itself. It hires artists to replicate and improve. Basically, it is a DAO that spans both the physical and electronic worlds, and raises questions about copyright and ownership. Quite an interesting invention that can make art “a living being that creates and replicates itself”.

Blockchain-Based Prizes

There are several prizes for artists that apply Blockchain technology to secure artworks while submitting them for awards. Berlin Art Prize is an annual award for contemporary art, open to all artists in the city. Sluice is an art initiative run by an artist, a curator and an educationalist that adopts structures in order to showcase artists, curators, emergent discourse, projects and galleries. The Portfolio Review is an open forum for the presentation and discussion of artworks. In addition to getting feedback on their work, participants can connect with each other and the jurors, and win prizes. Masha McConaghy expects “many more art prizes to apply Blockchain in 2016”.

Coming Soon

There are several new projects in the arts industry applying Blockchain and Bitcoin, coming soon in 2016. 23vivi is an online marketplace for rare pieces of art. The platform is planned for launch in the first quarter of 2016. ArtCity will be restarted soon applying Blockchain for securing digital art. Lumen Art Prize also plans to launch its own marketplace for digital arts.

What do you think, will the blockchain become widely adopted in the arts industry during 2016?

We hope that you liked this article. We recommend you get acquainted with our ratings of the top blockchain companies and cryptocurrencies.