Does Tokenization of Art Really Make Sense?

The Tokenizer
3 min readMar 9, 2019

Excerpt: Read the original full story at The Tokenizer

Paul Gauguin, Portrait of a young girl, 1896, Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen.

Being an art enthusiast for many years (and a collector too on a tiny scale) you might think that tokenization of art would be right down my alley. But even though I am genuinely excited about the potential of anything related to tokenization — that is why we are establishing The Tokenizer! — I am struggling to make up my mind when it comes to the combination of art and tokenization. Does it make sense? Is it supporting or a little bit undermining the art community? And how could tokenization within the art world be developed further besides just offering fractional ownership of single tier-one artworks?

In the coming months, we will dig deeper into this area in a line of articles and interviews with some of the new companies specialising in art tokenization. But right now, in this opinion piece, I will start by trying to express and explain my preliminary views of the matter. It is going to be interesting — at least for myself — to see if these views will change as we study the subject of art in combination with tokenization further going forward.

The industry of tokenization is still very much under construction, and it is highly likely that the way things are currently being done, the methods we are developing right now, and the areas that we are focusing on in this early phase will develop much further and in some case change radically. For that reason alone, it is not fair to review the topic of art and tokenization as if it had been around for decades. It is still only in its infancy, but nevertheless, the companies who are already offering services within this area seem — so far — to agree that tokenization within the art world equals buying selected pieces of tier-one artworks, tokenizing them and offering fractional ownership in the shape of security tokens.

What this means is that thousands of people in the world can be co-owners of an expensive piece of art by paying in some cases as little as USD 20 — or 200 or 2,000, depending on how many shares of the artwork they would like to buy. At some point (we are not quite there yet) these art-tokens will be tradeable on security token exchanges, and as an owner, you can choose to hold them and hope that the artwork backing your tokens becomes more valuable, or you can sell them on the market whenever you want.

It is not that I object to the idea of enabling more people to obtain ownership of a piece of art. On the contrary, I genuinely like the idea of sharing and democratising the opportunity of investments — but in this particular case, I find it hard to feel the excitement…

Read the original full story at The Tokenizer



The Tokenizer

The European platform for news and research related to the #tokenization of real-world assets and the #blockchain economy.