A multi-million dollar tokenised artwork, Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs, has been sold using blockchain technology for the first time. This went to participants on Maecenas, an art investment platform, in partnership with London-based fine art gallery Dadiani Syndicate.
The cryptocurrency auction claims to have attracted over 800 sign-ups within weeks and raised US$1.7 million (£1.3 million) for 31.5% of the artwork at a valuation of US$5.6 million (£4.3 million). The buyers, who were mostly from Europe and Asia, were a mix of investors, cryptocurrency enthusiasts and fine art professionals.
Pioneers in this space
Marcelo García Casil, CEO of Maecenas, said the auction was a historical moment for the platform and the blockchain community. “We have achieved a significant milestone that marks the beginning of a new era. Tokenisation of assets is the most prominent and exciting use case of blockchain technology, and we’re proud to be pioneers in this space,” he added.
Maecenas tokenised 14 Small Electric Chairs by converting it into tamper-proof digital certificates, or “fractions”, based on the Ethereum network. Buyers then purchased fractions of the artwork with Bitcoin, Ether or the ART token, a cryptocurrency created for Maecenas.
The final price for the piece was determined by a smart contract run on Ethereum.