Happy New Year! Ushering in 2018!

The Maecenas team hopes you had a great holiday season and wishes you every successes for 2018! Amidst the festive season, we've been featured in Artnome and on The Blockchain Show.

The Blockchain Art Market is Here

The blockchain matters to the art market. Artists and art collectors are now taking blockchain seriously and monitoring the market. There are at least four major areas where blockchain will disrupt the art market:

1. Driving digital art sales through digital scarcity
2. Democratizing fine art investment
3. Improving provenance and reducing art forgery
4. Creating a more ethical way of paying artists

If you fancy yourself a “serious” collector of blue-chip art, perhaps you are thinking the blockchain is only about $11.00 digital drawings and cartoon cats and punks. Think again.

In 2018, Maecenas will be launching the first open blockchain platform that democratizes access to fine art. Now people who have always dreamed of owning famous paintings can buy shares in a Picasso, Warhol, Monet, etc. On the flipside, galleries, museums, and collectors can offer up works from their collection for bid on Maecenas to raise money for the purchase of future works (while leaving their collection intact). This may sound like a regular art fund, but remember that blockchain cuts out the middleman, greatly reducing the transaction costs. The transaction cost with blockchain is so low that Maecenas can theoretically let you invest as little as fractions of a penny using cryptocurrency without taking the hit of transaction fees. Maecenas shares the use case below on their website. It does a nice job of illustrating the savings that occur with using blockchain versus traditional transactions.

“A Gallery wants to acquire a $3M piece to expand its Warhol collection. Instead of getting a three-year art-secured loan at 13.5% annual interest, it can raise funds from Maecenus investors by listing some of their artwork at a 6% one-off fee. This represents a saving of over $400k in fees for the gallery.”

Great for the gallery, but what about the investors? The investors also benefit from the magic of blockchain. Because fees and the cost of transactions goes dramatically down with blockchain, and cryptocurrency can be infinitely divided, Maecenus can transform artworks valued at tens of millions of dollars into tiny digital units that can be easily bought and sold in real time: essentially a stock market for art, but with far less friction or fees.

I am a huge fan of the model because it capitalizes on so many aspects of what makes blockchain so powerful opens up fine-art investing to everyone. My friends and family should expect fractional shares in blue chip art for many birthdays and Christmases to come.

Click here to read the full article from Artnome.


Maecenas Featured on The Blockchain Show

The Blockchain Show Christmas podcast special is chock-full of news and events from the blockchain world, including an interview with out very own CEO and co-founder, Marcelo Garcia Casil (interview starts @ 32:40).

Fielding questions on Maecenas, the first open blockchain platform that democratises access to Fine Art, allowing everyone to participate in the art market by buying and selling fractions of art works— for everything from paintings to sculptures. We use blockchain technology to tokenize artwork and divide them up into shares or fractions, that investors can trade with each other, and therefore build portfolios of art pieces at attractive prices in real time, very much like how people can own stocks of public listed companies, and buy and sell them.

This is something that is completely different and has never been done before.

Fine art is one of the most prominent classes for wealth investment, however participants of the existing art industry face several difficulties, including lack of information, opaqueness and exorbitantly high intermediary fees. If you're an investor of fine art, you have to pay 25% in fees to get in or out of your position. We realised that there was an opportunity to leverage our technology, and we have two art experts based in Geneva who lead the art practice for our company.

I think you're gonna need a Southern California office.

Absolutely. We currently have a presence in 3 continents, and have a small but growing community who are enthusiastic about the Maecenas platform, many of whom are from the US, so it might not take us long to get over there.

So you're talking about decentralizing the ownership. How does that work in the real world?

The way we do it is we create a financial vehicle — a legal entity that becomes the new owner of the artwork. The original owner sells the artwork to the legal entity which issues shares and designates a specific blockchain as the official register for these shares. This allows anyone to hold shares through this blockchain to become a part owner of the artwork that the legal entity owns. This facilitates and links the shares you own with a legally binding contract, that gives you economic rights over the artwork.

It's a wonderful service, I'm so glad that you started this project and it flourished. You are clearly attracting a lot of really interesting people around you to revolutionize the whole field.

We are very excited by the feedback we are getting, not just from the crypto community, but from the fine art community. Three weeks ago, I was in Milan with some of my team, we were invited to participate in the largest art and finance event in the world. It was very interesting to see the reactions of people who are mostly traditional and conservative players — insurance companies, family offices, asset management firms, collectors, galleries — they all demonstrated huge, huge interest. They're very keen on becoming clients and users of the platform, so we're very excited about the prospects.

Click here to listen to the full podcast and interview.

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