Andy Warhol Painting to Be Sold via Blockchain in ‘World’s First’ Crypto Art Auction

Blockchain platform Maecenas has announced today, June 7, that it will hold the “world’s first cryptocurrency art auction”, according to a press release shared with Cryptocor. The platform will be selling fractional ownership of Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs – worth $5.6 mln – at crypto-friendly UK fine art gallery Dadiani Syndicate on June 20.

The sale of 49 percent ownership interest in the painting, which is part of Warhol’s 1980 Reversal series, will allow buyers to purchase digital certificates of partial ownership on the Maecenas blockchain platform using their ART token as well as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

Maecenas creates tamper-proof digital certificates linked to works of art on the blockchain, which investors can then buy and sell to other investors on the Maecenas exchange.

According to the press release, while a smart contract run on the Ethereum blockchain will determine the final price for Warhol’s painting, Maecenas noted that the reserve price is set at $4 mln and that all buyers must comply with KYC and AML checks.

The Dadiani Fine Art gallery began accepting crypto as a payment in 2017, and the Dadiani Syndicate, which functions as a luxury marketplace, accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin (LTC) as payment options.

Blockchain tech has previously been applied in the art market to solve previous problems of verifying providence, copyright, ownership, and valuation and authenticity of a piece.

As opposed to being used to buy art, cryptocurrency has also been incorporated directly into art, as one painting series in March of this year included hidden private keys to crypto wallets containing as much as $9,000 each.

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