Frequently Asked Questions

cryptograffiti,   Currency Exchange,    2018

cryptograffiti, Currency Exchange, 2018


What does the Blockchain Art Collective do?

The Blockchain Art Collective provides unparalleled provenance tracking capabilities to artists, collectors, dealers, and institutions. We help to assign a unique, tamper-evident, and secured identity to a physical work of art, which stays connected to it over time. This identity, or Blockchain Art Certificate of Authenticity (COA), is created digitally and physically using Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Some key benefits of using these COAs include creating a holistic and secure provenance record, tracking transport of artworks and title transfers, and preventing counterfeits.

How do we do it?

Digitally, we securely register masked or public data about a piece of art to a shared, permissioned, digital Blockchain ledger (more on what blockchain is below), which does not belong to any centralized authority. Rather, it is run by the collective art world ecosystem. The nature of a distributed record keeping system exponentially lowers the risk of record tampering and increases the ability to monitor attempts to register fraudulent artworks.

Physically, we affix or embed a tamper-evident Certificate of Authenticity (COA) to a piece of art. The COA can be scanned with a mobile phone or NFC-enabled device to securely see or amend its provenance records.

Our technology lies at the cross section of the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain. Our technology is powered by Chronicled, a San Francisco-based company founded in 2014, which pioneered the development of secure and unique identities for physical assets on blockchain, as well as decentralized protocols and networks for supply chain to enforce cross-organization business rules without revealing private data.

Why NFC technology?

Our tamper-evident Certificates are embedded with a Near Field Communication (NFC) microchip, which holds a unique cryptographic identity that is exclusively associated with object it is affixed to over time. NFC microchips, one kind of IoT devices, collect and provide access to data by scanning them with a mobile phone or NFC-enabled device using the Blockchain Art Application.  All data collected by a microchip is communicated to a permissioned Blockchain via its secure firmware.

Currently our Application is compatible with Android and NFC-enabled devices.

Why Blockchain technology?

Data written to the blockchain is verified, encrypted, and stored in a distributed manner, rendering any attempt to alter records futile while providing a single yet shared source of truth about an artwork's provenance. Additionally, permanent time stamps record the initial registry of an artwork, which can flag attempts to lay claim to subsequent counterfeits. 

We use a permissioned EVM-family blockchain to ensure that each artwork is authenticated by and associated with the correct living artist or proper representing artist estate or institution. It is open to any and all people wanting to register an artwork, but a permissioned ledger provides an important layer of security and verification of the data added to it.

What about security?

The BAC Network is run on a cryptographically secured, permissioned, Ethereum-family blockchain. Collectively, these features protect an individual’s privacy while allowing data to communicate across individual and business privacy barriers.

We interact directly (as humans) with all of our customers to screen for legitimacy of claims to authorship or official representation of an artwork. We integrate with existing authentication processes, which vary depending on working directly with the artist or another entity. Additionally, Blockchain records cannot retroactively be altered, but they can be amended. This ensures an identity is maintained over time, and that false claims can be voided or amended.

Who owns the data on this Blockchain?

The artist or arts institution that authenticates a work. Blockchain Art Collective is a suite of tools and decentralized protocols to serve as a trusted vehicle to make authentication accessible to artists and arts institutions. Blockchain Art Collective helps others to augment their own existing authentication practices and provide an additional layer of protection.

What’s the roadmap?

Right now we are focused on securing physical assets - particularly unique, precious artworks and artifacts - to strengthen ties today between objects themselves and their related authenticity claims and provenance tracking.

In the future, we seek to provide solutions that include the ability to transfer the ownership of an artwork, hash third-party assessments of authenticity, appraisals, and audit opinions to a blockchain, record other updates about the chain of provenance, and see both public and permissioned registries of works.

Why does it matter?

In addition to the benefits listed above, we:

  • Enable artists and representatives to claim ownership of their works and reap the benefit of subsequent transactions of their artworks.

  • Give people the ability to see and track provenance of a work, including before and after transit, and title transfers of ownership.

  • Foster better provenance record-keeping.

  • Provide a simple and secure way to trace and authenticate an artwork back to its true originator.

Who is the Blockchain Art Collective?

A collection of artists, arts institutions, entrepreneurs, collectors, and general art lovers using blockchain and IoT to help the art world out a bit.