NFTs in the industrial world were worth about $2.8 billion in cumulative value in 2021, according to a tally by NonFungible.
Despite the smell of sulfur hanging over the world of cryptocurrencies, some investors and testers are trying to introduce digital tokens based on the same technology as NFTs – cryptocurrencies – into the world of art galleries and museums.
Virtually cutting a painting into small squares, each associated with an NFT: that’s the proposition of Artesare, a company created by former Liechtenstein banker Anaida Schneider. Each NFT, a type of electronic property certificate, is sold for 100 to 200 euros, which, according to the latter, allows to “democratize the industry”.
“Not everyone has 100,000 dollars or a million to invest. So this idea of creating a kind of mutual fund to invest in a very real task, based on blockchain technology,” he told AFP.
A “blockchain” or chain of blocks is a type of massive digital register that is shared among many users, without a central authority, and is believed to be falsifiable. They were made famous by cryptocurrencies, which are based on this technology.
Artsere opened last year and offers works by representatives of nonconformist Soviet art, such as Oleg Teselkov (1934 – 2021) and Shimon Okstein (1951-2020).
And if “work loses value?”
According to Anaida Schneider, Artessere plans to keep the paintings for a maximum of ten years before reselling them on the market. The added value will then be shared among the NFT owners of the paintings But what if the work loses its value, or is destroyed?
“We’re insured,” Snyder said. As for the potential loss of value, “We think it won’t happen. We’re experts. We know what we’re doing,” he says.
The former banker denies that his intentions are merely speculative, and assures that his project fully respects the “blockchain” law adopted by Liechtenstein in 2019. The principality and tax haven was one of the first countries in the world to ratify a specific law. Control activities based on this technology. According to a first-quarter survey of more than 300 collectors by the website Art+Tech Report, about 21% of them started buying NFTs representing a fraction of a work of art.
Value $2.8 billion
According to a report by the French company NonFungible, NFTs represented a cumulative value of approximately $2.8 billion in the industrial world in 2021. However, the ambiguity surrounding the rights attached to NFTs associated with a work of art prevents public museums from exploiting the vein. In Italy, where the artistic heritage is immense, the Ministry of Culture has announced that it is suspending projects to create NFTs linked to works of art due to lack of legal certainty.
One company, Cinello, has signed deals with Italian museums to sell digital reproductions of their art collections.
Cinello sells a high-definition digital reproduction of the work, housed in an electronic box provided to the buyer. This box is attached to a screen with working dimensions, around which a handcrafted frame reproduces the original frame. Digital reproductions are protected by a code system, and a certificate of authenticity is provided which can be supplemented by an NFT, if necessary and at the buyer’s request.
Cinello indicates that it has already digitized 200 works, including works by renowned masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, and claims that its reproductions have already generated 296,000 euros in revenue for Italian partner museums.
Generally speaking, Cinello’s founder, computer engineer Francesco Losi, is still skeptical of NFT’s potential in industry.
“I’m not saying NFTs will disappear,” he told AFP, but many were “misused”.