On April 30, 2019, ex-Facebook employees announced the launch of an Ethereum-based social media platform, Editional. The use of blockchain technology in this instance renders all images unique and non-replicable and hopes to return power to creators. A press release shared with BTCManager also pointed out that the startup had earned $1.5 million in investments from ConsenSys Ventures, CoinFund, and Digital Currency Group (DCG).
Art Collection in your Pocket
One of the flagship features of blockchain technology is its ability to guarantee immutability, provide scarcity and prevent fraud; and despite the rampant scam ICOs and security breaches, the innovation has more or less fulfilled this promise. As such, it has also earned the attention of the legacy art world.
Not only is there a lucrative black market for false Van Gogh or Davinci tableaus, but it also doesn’t appear that the trend will be ending anytime soon. In 2014, for instance, the Fine Art Expert Institute (FAEI) reported that “at least half of the artwork circulated in the market is fake.” In 2018, The Telegraph explained how a collection of 21 paintings from Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani were ultimately declared fake despite costing the gallery millions of dollars to acquire.
The merging of technologies that can prove a piece of art’s authenticity and the steady loss of investment has now created another market for art and blockchain collaborations. In the latest, Editional hopes to bring one of the first blockchain-based apps to the retail market.
It allows users to upload images similar to Instagram via a “create a new collectible” process in which followers can claim the image for themselves. The creator of the collectible can also provide a set number of editions thus adding to their sense of scarcity. By placing a high premium on usability, the app’s creators are keen to attract as many first-time crypto users as possible.
John Egan, a former Facebook Product Manager, said:
“The barriers to entry have historically been too high for most people to get involved. With Editional, anyone can discover and create next-generation art and creative digital content right on their phone, without having to learn about blockchain technology.”
Although untested, Editional has attracted hefty funding from ConsenSys Ventures, CoinFund, and DCG. Jake Brukhman of CoinFund reasoned that “Editional allows creators and curators to tokenize, collect, and monetize digital works of art like never before using blockchain technology.”
Similar attempts at capturing attention in the space indicate that blockchainifying the art world hinges on “when” rather than “if.” As reported by BTCManager, CryptoKaiju has also leveraged the Ethereum blockchain to add scarcity and provenance to their suite of physical toys. Keeping abreast of this niche adoption could indeed be the future of art, gaming, and a new digital economy.