Art and Blockchain: A comparison of art provenance companies
COMPARISON OF BLOCKCHAIN-BASED PROVENANCE COMPANIES
No. of Artists Registered: Over 87 artists have registered art pieces on ArtChain.info, including some of today's most renowned international artists (e.g., Alec Monopoly, Deborah Azzopardi, Gary Komarin, Eric Zener, Hiro Ando, Aaron Nagel and many more). Although Verisart and Codex have launched beta versions of their platforms, they provide no information on the number of artists that have registered, and the other blockchain-based provenance companies have not even launched a beta version of their platform.
No. of Art Pieces Registered: Over 460 art pieces have been registered on ArtChain.info, several of which are offered for sale on BitcoinGallery.com at over $100k. Although Verisart has partnered with Paddle8, there is no way to determine the number of art pieces listed on Paddle8 that are registered with Verisart. Neither Verisart nor Paddle8 provides information about the number of art pieces registered on Verisart. Although Codex claims to have partnered with a number of auction houses, neither Codex nor the auction houses provides information about the number of art pieces registered. The other blockchain-based provenance companies have not even launched a beta version of their platform.
$ Value of Art Registered: The 460+ art pieces registered on ArtChain.info have a combined market value of over $7.3 Million.
$ Value of Art for Sale Online: Several of the art pieces registered on ArtChain.info are currently offered for sale on BitcoinGallery.com at a combined market value of over $6.5 Million. Every art piece listed for sale on BitcoinGallery.com includes a link to the registration on ArtChain.info (digital certificate of authenticity). BitcoinGallery.com is the only website where every art piece offered for sale is registered on the bitcoin blockchain and includes a link to the registration. If you are buying expensive art, how is that investment protected? With a paper certificate? It's just a matter of time before collectors understand the lunacy of paper certificates when art pieces can be recorded on the bitcoin blockchain. And it's just a matter of time before every art piece offered for sale includes a link to a digital certificate of authenticity recorded on the bitcoin blockchain. Any art piece without a link to a digital certificate recorded on the bitcoin blockchain will be considered worthless.
Decentralized: ArtChain.info is the only company providing a truly decentralized blockchain-based provenance tracking system. Each artist/gallery registers with a master bitcoin address from which their art pieces are linked through bitcoin transfers recorded on the bitcoin blockchain. There is no central database storing the artist/gallery master bitcoin addresses, or the bitcoin addresses assigned to the art pieces. Further, there is no central database storing the bitcoin addresses of collectors who purchase the art pieces. Each collector generates their own bitcoin address (e.g., using Bitaddress.org) with a corresponding private key that can be stored off-line on a piece of paper. Accordingly, ArtChain.info stores no information in a database that if hacked would compromise the chain of ownership (authenticity) of any art piece. The other blockchain-based provenance companies provide little information about how a digital certificate of authenticity is generated for an art piece, how control of the certificate is established by a current owner, or how the certificate is transferred to a new owner. Both Verisart and Codex vaguely refer to a "password" used to access and transfer the digital certificate; however, any database accessible using passwords is a centralized database that if hacked could comprise the authenticity of every registered art piece. Any platform that employs passwords to gain control of (and transfer) a digital certificate of authenticity is susceptible to comprise through hacking. The whole point of a decentralized blockchain database is to prevent hacking of the database. The digital certificates of authenticity generated by ArtChain.info are accessed and transferred based on the protocol of the bitcoin blockchain which means the certificates are as secure as bitcoins. An ArtChain.info certificate can be transferred to a new owner only by an individual that controls a private bitcoin key similar to transferring actual bitcoin.
Anonymous: With the ArtChain.info platform, art collectors remain completely anonymous. Each owner of an art piece is identified in the chain of ownership only by their anonymous bitcoin address which they generate in private. There is essentially no way to identify an individual from a bitcoin address. The other platforms describe storing transactional information on the blockchain each time an art piece is transferred to a new owner. In addition, both Verisart and Codex describe accessing a digital certificate of authenticity using an email address and password. Storing transactional information that is accessed through an email address will likely render the identity of the art collectors discoverable. Even if the other platforms intend to keep transactional or collector information private, the information is susceptible to hacking due to being stored in a centralized database. In contrast, the ArtChain.info platform stores no transactional or collector information other than the bitcoin address of each owner. The bitcoin transactions representing the transfer of ownership are stored on the bitcoin blockchain from which nothing about the parties can be discovered. When an art piece is transferred, there is no need for the current owner to log into a central database in order to access the digital certificate of authenticity. The current owner merely transfers the bitcoin from the owner bitcoin address to the buyer's bitcoin address using any suitable bitcoin wallet.
Launched: ArtChain.info is fully launched and currently tracking ownership of over 460 art pieces. ArtChain.info displays a list of all registered artists/galleries as well as every registered art piece (over 87 artists who have registered over 460 art pieces). Verisart and Codex have launched beta versions of their platforms, but essentially no information is displayed about which artists or which art pieces are registered. The other blockchain-based provenance platforms have not even launched a beta version, let alone published any information about which artists might be registering in the future.
ICO/Whitepaper/Roadmap: ArtChain.info has no plans for an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) nor is there a whitepaper or roadmap published on the website. The website is fully launched and fully functional. Artists may register art pieces to generate a digital certificate of authenticity transferable to an original collector as well as transferable between collectors. No "whitepaper" or "roadmap" is needed to induce investors to buy altcoins or tokens. Whereas over 90% of the projects funded by ICOs have failed, ArtChain.info has already registered over 460 art pieces on the bitcoin blockchain without selling a single token.