Blockchain Technology Helps Fine Art Gain Roots in Buildings
In 2018, a report from ‘The Alan Turing Institute’ described how adopting blockchain would radically enhance the authentication and value of beautiful artworks. Since then, the use of blockchain to determine the provenance of artworks and improve their worth has spread worldwide.
It has also made obtaining fine art for buildings, even more, engaging for owners and developers looking to add this grand facility to their properties.
As the New York City experiential website, ‘6sqft’ stated, traditional brokerages like Douglas Elliman, luxury apartment developers such as Aby Rosen, and tech-forward ones like Compass see the value of art in drawing and trading to tenants.
As architect Morris Adjimi says in the 6sqft story: “Art is more stimulating to me than the latest trends in architecture. Art is visceral and topical, it is much more immediate, and it allows you to get into the zeitgeist of the time. In art, we see what is happening now; in architecture, it takes a few years to show up.”
The 6sqft story further states that: More and more architects, designers, developers, and brokers understand the powerful relationship between art and real estate. So much that, it is now recognized that art sells real estate, and real estate sells art.
Intelligent real estate developers and owners are frequently becoming conscious that adding beautiful artworks to their property can be a vital differentiator and value-add in charming tenants.
The commercial real estate world is also an element of the trend. It’s practically improbable to walk into the lobby of any modern urban office building without seeing a painting, sculpture, or mural decorating the hall.
Nevertheless, until currently, unless you were “as rich as Rockefeller,” as the old song goes, a variety of problems made it difficult and expensive for most owners to bring quality fine art into buildings. Part of the issue involved validating the artworks, which would help ensure their value and cost-effectiveness.
Here is where technology has embedded itself to solve the problem, as blockchain technologists have built platforms to bring increased liquidity and transparency to the marketplace for fine art in real estate.
In the last two years, the PropTech startup Alpha’a, an online, community-oriented platform, provides tailor-made art collections for companies across all industries, including the real estate sectors of office, hospitality, and co-working/living spaces, has discussed this complex challenge for developers and property owners.
Recently, Alpha’s has launched Alphaa.io, a simple certification solution that ensures edition ownership, secure trading and transactional history on the full chain of custody. Alphaa.io adds transparency to the art market via blockchain technology.
The Alphaa.io extension is developed on the platform of Hong Kong-based ‘Block.one,’ A leader in providing high-performance blockchain solutions. Block .one’s EOS VC business unit was an early investor in Alpha’a, choosing the PropTech startup not only for expansion funding but as a pilot in the expansion of its EOSIO blockchain ecosystem.
Nevertheless, in its short time of existence, Alpha’a has demonstrated its abilities to such significant real estate and design companies like Convene, Airbnb, Casaone, The Yard, Gilt, and Zola.
Founded by the Brazilian born, New York-based duo of Manuela Seve and CPO Renata Thomé, Alpha’a makes artists’ works, principally limited-edition prints, available to audiences across the globe through cutting-edge technology. Alphaa.io is an extension of the founders’ mission to merge the technology and art worlds to make art more accessible to everyone.
Once an image of the artwork is uploaded to the platform or a piece of art is obtained, each work automatically gets a unique, tokenized QR code. The QR code becomes a permanent part of the decentralized Alphaa.io blockchain, providing it immune to fraudulent manipulation or duplication. A QR code on the back of the work links back to the platform, and the buyer can then login with his or her unique credentials to give ownership of that work.
In effect, this indicates that the work and the corresponding non-fungible token must have the same owner to have any trading value.
“Authenticity means different things to different people. As there is no industry-wide standard, I find it difficult to know how much a piece of art is worth it. Still, I want to buy things which are going to hold their value,” said Isabel Serai, architect at Dado Castello Branco in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a fine art collector.
Serving as an advisor to the Alpha’s team, Fritz Dietl, founder of Dietl International, the biggest logistics provider in the United States dedicated solely to the individual needs and requirements of shipping artwork, will liaise between the Alphaa.io platform and top-tier galleries around the world, supporting the galleries take benefit of this new technology.
In its short history, Alpha’a has created initiatives with notable names in contemporary art such as Jarbas Lopes, Ernesto Neto, Alex Andre Arrechea, and Nelson Leirner and possesses a network of more than 7,000 artists.
Such achievements have drawn the interest of the highly regarded and experienced early-stage PropTech VC firm MetaProp, which selected Alpha’a for its globally competitive accelerator cohort of 2019-2020.
“We have seen rapidly expanding interest in our platform from the global artist community on the supply side and our similarly increasing user/buyers in real estate and business in general throughout the Americas and Europe on the demand side,” said Ms. Seve.
“Entering the new year, we want to bring our technology to the larger real estate community to make it easier for them to invest in art. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fakes out there. If we can eliminate risk to building owners and managers, I think we will see increased investment in art.” Having more art in our buildings, in our lives, brings obvious benefits to all of us