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Provenance of Art

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I am sure this has been blogged about somewhere else but my wife and I were chatting about it the other day.  With NFT’s getting hot, I see a lot of speculation about new NFT art and crypto.  That’s cool and there will be new markets developed with that tech, but what about all the existing art?    We watched a documentary about how an extremely reputable art dealer was duped and sold fake art to collectors.

The fakes were so good, virtually any expert that looked at them said they were real.

The trick was the provenance.  Where did they come from.  The reason for the provenance seemed reasonable but there was no paper trail, no track record. Nothing.  Just faith.  A relationship and an established rapport.

What if those works of art had a cryptocurrency tied to them?  What if crypto had been invented in the 1700s and crypto was tied to the great art that was developed?  The art Hitler ransacked and stolen would have had a record, and been returned to rightful owners.

If I were an enterprising crypto entrepreneur, I might set up a company and start offering my services to art schools.  Figure out a cheap way to develop a token for students to use and put on their art.  Sign them into long-term contracts where they would tie a new token to every piece of art they made.   You could develop an exchange for the tokens and the art would never have to move as the token changed hands.  Might help museums with their collections.  A museum could monetize a collection.  What if the Detroit Art Museum did that instead of selling off its great works to pay for debts and expenses?

Fraud would be eliminated in the art world with crypto tied to a painting.  If I were a new artist, I’d start tying my art to a crypto and selling both to collectors.

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