A new L.A based startup Verisart has announced its future plans to launch a decentralized platform that will help artists and collectors to document, verify and certify artwork.
The announcement comes two weeks after the US$2 million investment secured by a platform called Ascribe, which enables its users to encode copyrights to their artworks.
Now, with the soon to be launched platform, Verisart is trying store a worldwide record of art and collectibles with standard meta-data on the blockchain that can immediately be availed by collectors, artists and insurers, thus creating a 100% transparent ledger of all art-related records on the blockchain.
The startup has already secured a seed funding round led by an Israel-based fund Rhodium for an undisclosed amount, and has also signed up Bitcoin Core Developer Peter Todd as its board advisor. With his expertise in cryptography and the blockchain technology, Todd is expected to help Verisart with the platform launch.
Purchasing or selling artworks often requires middlemen to close the deal and provide the liquidity. With more artworks being sold and purchased online, the demand for certificates of authenticity and verifications will increase.
With a world-wide ledger of verifications and certificates, artists, collectors and insurers can perform real time verifications in a 100% transparent blockchain, thus making the whole process faster and more secure.
Verisart Founder Robert Norton told TechCrunch:
“The art word is not broken. It just relies too much on middlemen to ensure trust and liquidity. We believe the advent of a decentralized world-wide ledger coupled with powerful encryption to mask the identities of buyer and seller will be attractive to the art world."
“As more art sales move online, there will be increasing demand for certificates of authenticity as well as the need to perform real-time verification of provenance,” he continued.
The main advantage of using the blockchain is its anonymity, which ensures the protection of sensitive information for buyers and sellers on the platform.
“We believe technology can aid trust and liquidity especially as more of the US$67 billion annual art market shifts to private sales (peer-to-peer) and online transactions,” added Norton. “We believe the cryptographic token used in the blockchain addresses the privacy and security concerns in the art world by ensuring the anonymity of buyer and seller and other sensitive information.”