Almost three years ago Verisart appeared on the scene with an unusual idea. It was going to use the immutability of blockchain to create certification to the fine art market. To literally verify and artwork was what it claimed to be. While the idea seemed a good one, the execution was probably going to be difficult. But founder and CEO Robert Norton, who had made previous attempts to drag the slow-moving and traditional art market into the 21st Century, persisted and has now bagged three major deals, the first in the auction market.
Verisart is now launching the “P8Pass” developed in partnership with Paddle8, to bring blockchain certification and authentication services to the auction market.
The P8Pass will be offered to buyers, consignors and partners in all curated and benefit auctions run on paddle8.com. Each P8Pass contains detailed provenance information and functions as a unique fingerprint on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Paddle8 co-founder and President Alexander Gilkes says P8Pass “has the potential to significantly reduce transaction costs for the trade with art & collectibles and broaden the market by including new buyers encouraged by authentication process simplicity and transaction safety offered by the P8Pass blockchain product, the risks traditionally being the primary reason for affluent consumers to stay away from the art trade.”
Norton says: “The partnership with Paddle8 and the strategic support from The Native SA further extends our platform reach as the provider of choice for blockchain certification standards for leading artists and galleries and now auction partners.”
Verisart has been busy. It’s partnering with ArtSystems to bring blockchain certification to leading galleries worldwide, making this the first art inventory management platform to integrate this kind of blockhain-based certificate. It’s also launched a hallmark for bronze sculpture called ‘Bronzechain’ in partnership with DACS. This combines the use of a hallmark stamp with Verisart’s blockchain.
Other players are now entering this growing market. Codex Protocol is a new startup also putting art on the blockchain.