Blockchain Combining With the World of Art

Opinion | August 9, 2018 By:

Blockchain has evolved significantly to become what it is today: a worldwide phenomenon, revolutionizing numerous industry sectors with its unique, decentralized approach. From an outsider’s perspective, blockchain serves only one purpose, where digital transactions can be made in the form of bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.

Once perhaps not taken too seriously, blockchain has since been endorsed within many industries, of course with leading financial institutions being the first to recognize the impact it could have and subsequently using it to open up new routes to market within the trillion-dollar financial sector. Extending well beyond just finance, the benefits of blockchain technology allow transformation throughout numerous areas and segments by enforcing more secure methods for storing information, immutability and decentralization, just to name a few.

What we have mainly seen is the adoption of blockchain within the Fintech sector as it continues to combat rising cyber threats with securer software, helping it to protect money and sensitive data from attack. These same benefits are beginning to be adopted by decision makers in more ‘humanized’ industries in which people perhaps do not expect blockchain to play a significant role.

For example, the education sector has reached out to blockchain based solutions to protect important records and to exercise new learning techniques through blockchain-run reward systems. Charitable economic systems can regain transparency, and voting systems become completely unhackable with the integration of blockchain technologies. Other emerging industries are the political and not-for-profit sectors, as well as the arts, where the potential is only just being realized.

Fraud fails against blockchain

The arts industry has always suffered from the ability for someone to duplicate another’s original work, drastically damaging the real value of countless originals. As the digital art realm grows in popularity, it also becomes easier to simply copy what we see online, claim it and sell it for a profit. The problem has become so serious that many artists are put off from sharing their work online through social channels. With the integration of blockchain technology, the digitally produced and presented piece of art can be secured, all the way from the piece being created, through to the auction phase, and onward to ownership for life, ensuring that unique, original art remains encrypted to everyone except those for whom it is intended.

Arts to follow suit

Unlike with music and film, the notion of digital ownership is yet to fully take off within the art industry. iTunes and Netflix are among the leaders in their respective fields, following a universal shift in perception in music and film where consumers felt the need for 24/7 access, anywhere and on any device. As revolutionary as this has been, illegal streaming is still a major issue for these platforms. Now that the prevention of digital fraud and reproduction of original work is possible, using the blockchain, it is up to the wider arts industry as a movement to recognize that the future of art lies in the digitalization of the industry in order for it to remain relevant.

Looking to the future

While maintaining its traditional, analogue beginnings, the arts sector should be looking to surge forward, exploring digital options that will become increasingly appealing to those using the blockchain. As in other sectors, which have not yet fully explored digital mediums, the blockchain now gives non-traditional collectors the opportunity to enjoy the process of sourcing, collecting and auctioning art.

It also gives artists the ability to freely share their own work and without the risk of duplication. As it embraces the blockchain, the arts will hopefully serve as a catalyst for more industries whose beginnings are not in technology, to recognize its potential impact.

Traditionalists can choose to remain completely separate from blockchain innovation, however the option to engage with the blockchain will stand as an alternative medium if and when they choose – the blockchain is ready and waiting. The technology has solved the unsolvable and now awaits users and its adoption into the market. The truth is, the arts industry is in need of new technologies to foster interest from new audiences while embracing innovation from external influencers. This will ensure that the digital art world can continue to prosper and stand out, giving it the canvas it needs to paint a bright future.