According to blockchain digitization provider Tokeny, on Monday, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) became the first European museum to tokenize investment in fine art, starting with Belgian painter James Ensor's (1860–1949) painting, "Carnaval de Binche." Investors can obtain fractional ownership of the work starting from 150 euros (or about $158). The venture is a joint effort between KMSKA, Tokeny and blockchain art entity Rubey, with the tokens, themselves, being ERC-3643 compliant and launching on the Polygon (MATIC) blockchain.
As told by the parties, the ultimate goal of the collaboration is to lower the investment barriers to entry and enable everyday users to become co-owners of expensive fine art pieces that are typically only accessible by affluent individuals. Via an innovative fundraising method, an Art Security Token Offering, individuals were able to collectively purchase and ensure that KMSKA receives it on a long-term loan.
Unlike nonfungible tokens, the Art Security Tokens in the transactions are backed by debt instruments. Therefore, Rubey selected Tokeny's tokenization APIs to issue and manage securitized tokens in a regulatory-compliant manner. Regarding the development, Luc Falempin, CEO of Tokeny, commented:
"We share the same vision as our partners KMSKA and Rubey that security tokens will have a real impact on the art industry by allowing smaller investors to invest and engage in artworks that already have existing value."
Meanwhile, Luk Lemmens, President of KMSKA, added:
"KMSKA already had the largest Ensor collection in the world. The addition of Carnaval de Binche puts our museum on the international map as an Ensor center of excellence even more."