Christie’s launches blockchain art registration collaboration

October 12, 2018
Chris Wheal

Art powerhouse Christie’s has announced it is to pilot encrypted registration of art transactions on a blockchain as part of a unique collaboration with Artory, a leading independent digital registry for the art market.

Christies

The Artory blockchain registry will securely record all public information regarding the sale of each lotIn an industry first, each artwork from An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection sold at Christie’s this November will include a secure, encrypted certification of the sale for the successful bidder, providing a permanent digital record of relevant information about the artwork.

This announcement of the blockchain collaboration is timed to Christie’s upcoming West Coast tour of major artworks from the Collection that is estimated to exceed $300m total at auction.

Richard Entrup, Chief Information Officer at Christie’s, said: “Our pilot collaboration with Artory is a first among the major global auction houses, and reflects growing interest within our industry to explore the benefits of secure digital registry via blockchain technology.

“The entrepreneurial spirit of the Ebsworth family and their embrace of leading-edge technology makes Christie’s November sale of the Ebsworth Collection an ideal platform for our clients to experience this technology for themselves and to explore the advantages of having a secure encrypted record of information about their purchased artwork.”

The Artory blockchain registry will securely record all public information regarding the sale of each lot in the Ebsworth Collection, including title, description, final price, and date, and produce a digital certificate of the transaction for Christie’s.

After the auction, Christie’s will offer each buyer a registration card to access a secure encrypted record of information about their purchased artwork on the Artory Registry. Each buyer retains individual control of their personal information throughout the transaction process. Artory does not collect any personal information about buyers, and no personal information is recorded in their Registry or on the blockchain.

Nanne Dekking, CEO of Artory, added: “We are delighted to work with Christie’s on this industry-leading collaboration. As long-standing participants and business leaders within the global art market, the Artory team innately understands the needs of today’s art collectors and the broader desire within the industry to embrace new technologies that will help the marketplace evolve.

“This November, Artory is pleased to work with Christie’s and the Ebsworth family to mark the start of a blockchain digital journey for each work in this spectacular collection, and to show the art world how digital encryption technology can benefit buyers and collectors in the future.”

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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