Maecenas — making fine art investment accessible
Words by Marcelo García Casil
At Maecenas, we are proud that our decentralized gallery will help democratise access to fine art investment. Monets, Van Goghs and Goyas make for an attractive asset class with long-term appreciation, and we are passionate about unlocking that value for more than just the super-rich.
We do this by dividing up famous paintings into many small parts and auctioning those fractions on our blockchain platform. Yes, you can own a piece of a Picasso — and trade it on the Maecenas marketplace.
A gallery, museum or collector can offer to sell up to 49 percent of a masterpiece on our platform to raise funds. Like this, we are injecting liquidity into a $65 billion annual industry that is currently dominated by monopolistic auction houses and opaque transactions.
I am sometimes asked why we limit the auctions to less than half of the artwork. The reason is so that the original owner cannot simply dump artworks into the platform and go away — precisely because they have 51% exposure and, therefore, would suffer losses themselves if prices fall. This creates an alignment of interests which incentivises the original owner to continue creating value for the artwork — by, for example, promoting, displaying or lending it to exhibitions.
Others may make 100 percent of art shares available to trade, fomenting active markets in specific areas. But this actually means that nobody is incentivised to increase the real value of the artwork. In fact, it tends to stimulate traders to speculate with the price because everyone wants the price to go up to boost profits. This creates incredibly inflated prices that can only plunge when true valuations are made.
On the other hand, Maecenas’ objective is worldwide and we wanted to create a business model that was sustainable over time and not just to create hype, make millions and then let the whole thing blow up after ten years. It’s a different approach.
And I am heartened that so many in the art and blockchain communities are supporting our business model. We are more than two-thirds of the way to completing our public token crowdsale target. I am blown away that in a matter of days we have already raised enough funds to implement our roadmap where we plan to build out our platform and open centers around the world. And as more money continues to flow in, we will be able to increase our capacity to stimulate financing so that more owners auction artworks.
Maecenas embraces decentralisation and transparency. On the global Maecenas marketplace, the value of the painting shares and the value of the actual artwork are completely correlated.
We are not about just trying to fuel speculation. The objective of Maecenas is to democratise the art world and let everyone enjoy famous works that have traditionally been out of reach. We have about $100 million worth of artworks in our pipeline. By setting up secure art vaults that double-up as galleries we are effectively setting these masterpieces free and letting everyone appreciate them and enjoy them.
If you want to help make fine art accessible to everyone, contribute to Maecenas now to bring the best fine art masterpieces to the blockchain community, and tell your art enthusiast friends about Maecenas.