The first artwork worth millions of dollar was tokenized and sold using the blockchain technology recently. The painting was 14 Small Electric Chairs, a two-meter high painting made by Andy Warhol, a famous visual artist.
This art piece was sold on Maecenas, a blockchain-based art investment platform. The piece was tokenized and sold to 100 participants. A total of $1.7 million USD was raised in the auction for a total of a 31.5% stake on the artwork, which is valued at $5.6 million USD when whole.
The transaction was made using smart contracts and more than 800 bidders signed up or the event. Most of them were from either Asia or Europe, some of them were crypto enthusiasts while others were fine art professionals. The sale was conducted with the help from the Dadiani Syndicate, which is a fine art gallery based in London.
After the transaction, the piece had its tokenized value converted into Ethereum-based digital certificates which can be used to let the buyers purchase other fractions of the piece by using Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC) or even Maecenas’ own crypto, the ART token. A total of over 6 million ART tokens were used by the smart contract during the bids.
The CEO of Maecenas, Marcelo Garcia Casil, has affirmed that the blockchain technology if used this way, has the potential to basically change how the art market works in a radical way. It looks like it is possible, as this was just the first multi-million dollar art piece that was sold this way.
According to the CEO, tokenization of assets is one of the most exciting possibilities that the blockchain technology gives to people. He seemed happy to be a pioneer in this area and he affirmed that other sales of art pieces were already on its way as soon as the company was able to plan them carefully.
Democratizing the Art Market
The auction happened on July 25 and the initial price of the artwork was evaluated at $4 million USD. A steep price to pay, surely, but not so much when you can tokenize the asset and divide this price by 100. It is certainly easier to pay $40,000 USD for a share of the art piece than buying all of it.
Maecenas’ CEO believes that this will let new buyers enter the fine art market, which has a deserved reputation of being only accessible for the elites so far. According to Eleesa Dadiani, founder of the Dadiani Syndicate, one of the goals is to make this market global and to bring art to people with tokenization.
As the sale was successful, we can surely hope for some other ones. If not by this same company, by other ones, as the crypto community has proven that, if an idea gets popular, more people will try to enter the game shortly.