Introducing ArtSquare: The Digital Platform on a Mission to Unshackle the Art Market

At ArtSquare, it all started with the desire to make the art market reachable. As the word suggests, ArtSquare is an accessible and free-for-all digital space –just like a public square–where art is exchanged. The platform uses Blockchain Technology to bring the art industry closer to the people. Cryptocurrencies allow them to make the sale and purchase of art a shared reality.

The market of Fine Art and Collectibles is one of the most exclusive sectors nowadays, with few incredibly wealthy individuals and institutions controlling the very high prices of these illiquid assets. A limited budget usually prevents the average investor or passionate art lover from accessing the industry; unclear regulations, non-transparent pricing, and confused ownership rights also make it difficult for anyone who lacks knowledge and experience to benefit from it. Not to mention the risk of buying forgeries or overpaying an object. Trusting one’s own judgment in dealing with highly technical matters such as authenticity, provenance–the artwork’s history of ownerships, sales, and loans–and price fluctuation is very risky. If you decide to put your trust in an auction house, you may end up paying up to 25% commission fees for its services. This is true for both sellers and buyers. Some iconic works by Andy Warhol were up for sale at one of Phillips’ latest contemporary art auctions in London. The artist’s Red Lenin sold for more than £81.000, doubling its initial estimate [1]. And this is not including a number of hidden fees that the final buyer had to pay and that auction houses rarely disclose to the public.

ArtSquare Gives Anyone Access to the Art Market

Imagine if you could divide any valuable artwork into multiple portions whose value fits your budget. Imagine if you could get some friends to contribute and buy portions of the artwork; a large number of people would then virtually own an, otherwise, unaffordable object. Finally, imagine you and some of your crew of co-owners wanting to sell their shares of the artwork to cash in or invest money in another asset. Liquidity is continuously generated, with obvious benefits for both buyers and sellers.

This is how things work in the ArtSquare platform. Pieces of Fine Art and Collectibles are listed on the platform and divided into shares, or AWTs (ArtWork Tokens), available for purchase by cryptocurrencies to the whole community. Art Owners and Art Investors are the main players that keep the platform going. On one side, Art Owners put forward for listing their art objects, which the platform will then break down into tokens (through the tokenization process) and make liquid. On the other, Art Investors decide to invest any amount in buying a number of tokens of one or multiple artworks. This flexible and dynamic way of buying and selling tokens makes also possible the creation of a secondary market. This will not only allow Art Investors to trade AWTs anytime but will also create liquidity and alternative possibilities of investment that will benefit the whole community.

And it all unfolds as easily, safely, and clearly as it sounds. To ensure fairness and transparency in the whole process of listing and exchanging artworks, ArtSquare relies on a network of experts or Art Pros: guarantors of the authenticity and fair evaluation of the artwork, they save interested buyers and owners the trouble of putting together provenance documents and seeking legal guidance. Blockchain does the rest. One of the platform’s main innovations is the creation of a system for storing safely and transparently information related to the artwork, such as authenticity and provenance: the Artwork Repository. ArtSquare’s Modular Smart Contract will also put an end to confusion when it comes to multi-owned artworks, spelling out ownership rights and the rules for the exchange of AWTs for both Owners and Investors. All of this information permanently travels with the AWTs just as provenance documentation and contracts are passed on and updated from one owner to the other in the non-virtual art market.

Here at ArtSquare, we are determined to handle the faults of the art market by making changes from within. This is what matters most to us: that the art market become accessible to a new class of investors who will finally bring transparency and liquidity to the industry. Find out more details about the platform by downloading ArtSquare’s White Paper.

[1] https://www.phillips.com/auctions/auction/UK030119

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