Art collecting has traditionally been perceived as an exclusive pursuit reserved for a select few, a privileged circle of high-income individuals. However, innovation and technologies like blockchain are now ushering in new possibilities for all art enthusiasts and investors. Fractional ownership of artworks is tearing down the towering barriers to art collection and investment, allowing you to co-own a Pablo Picasso or Andy Warhol painting.
A Work of Art in Your Crypto-Asset Wallet
"The tokenisation of artworks, the creation of their digital twins, the transfer of specific rights, and fractional ownership—all of this is already possible thanks to technology. Digital collecting of physical art presents a fresh avenue for those keen on art investment, seeking to diversify their portfolios, yet previously hindered by factors like the high costs or a shortage of physical storage space for artworks. Once you acquire a fraction of an art piece, you can simply keep the corresponding unique token securely in your crypto-asset wallet," says Vytautas Kašėta, President of the Crypto Economy Organisation.
When you purchase a piece of tokenised artwork, the transaction is recorded on the blockchain—a permanent and immutable record, thanks to smart contracts. The unique token that represents it ends up in the owner's crypto-asset wallet. In most cases, the co-owner of the work of art does not need to worry about the transportation, insurance, and storage of the work of art. Should you decide to sell your fraction of the artwork, the same token gets transferred accordingly, with the new owner's details recorded on the blockchain.
"It's crucial to note that fractional ownership can have a profoundly positive impact on the art market by enhancing its liquidity. After all, buying and selling a fraction of an artwork at a price amenable to a broader audience is far more accessible. I believe it also fosters new connections, allowing artists to reach a wider audience and forge direct links with their art's admirers and buyers," observes V. Kašėta.
New Opportunities for Institutions
Technology also opens up opportunities for creative, captivating ideas aimed at bringing more individuals into the realm of art. For instance, the Belvedere Museum released non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for Gustav Klimt's renowned painting "The Kiss" on Valentine's Day. A total of 10,000 unique non-fungible tokens were made available, each representing a unique fraction of the digital image. Although it carried more sentimental significance, it serves as a brilliant example of how the art world can entertain and engage a broader audience. In the future, this approach could become a fresh avenue for institutions to attract investments for their operations and growth.
In order to familiarize artists, representatives of the art world, investors, and the public with the possibilities offered by blockchain technology, the Crypto Economy Organization (CEO) in collaboration with Vilnius City Municipality, is implementing the Vilnius Tokens project. As part of this initiative, the artworks from Vilnius city galleries and artists will undergo digitisation and tokenisation, thereby contributing to their global dissemination, the establishment of a decentralised archive of artworks, and the propagation of innovative concepts. Visitors who acquire artworks from Vilnius city galleries during the "Art Vilnius" art fair on October 13-15 will have the opportunity to tokenise these pieces.