What is the ART token and why does Maecenas need it?

Published in
4 min readAug 22, 2017


We get asked this question quite a lot, and since the ART token is such an integral part of Maecenas I thought it merited a dedicated blog post.

Words by Marcelo Garcia Casil

In a few weeks, there will be a token crowdsale of ART, pronounced by its letters “A-R-T”. And the shortest way to explain our token is that,

“if Maecenas were an economy, then ART would be its currency.”

The longer explanation is that ART is a digital token required by all Maecenas functions that are exposed on the blockchain via smart contracts. If that sounds like a mouthful, let me break it down.

Maecenas is a blockchain-powered marketplace for buying and selling fine art easily. Famous paintings are divided into digitised financial units that are more affordable than whole artworks. We like to think our decentralised gallery is democratising access to art investment.

Caption from our upcoming platform (Alpha Version)

Now, we believe that the $63 billion art market is in desperate need of transparency and fairness. Therefore, we’ve decided that all sensitive business logic dealing with money or assets will be run on a public and decentralised blockchain. This ensures that our processes can be publicly audited and known upfront.

The main and most significant function of our platform is the Dutch auction. This is the process that receives bids from investors and issues digital shares of paintings. Running such a critical part of our system on an open and transparent platform like Ethereum allows the entire community to scrutinise our operations. It also protects Maecenas itself from any potential internal manipulation or insider trading.

These smart contracts that we’re creating, including the Dutch auction contract, require ART to operate. ART is like the fuel of the decentralised Maecenas machine. Any fiat or crypto amounts being invested through smart contracts are converted to ART first. Having our own token allows us to collect income from these smart contract activities.

We are issuing ART tokens in a public crowdsale starting September 7th. And, if anyone wants to make sure they don’t miss out, there is a pre-sale from September 5th where people can use the Priority Pass of Cofound.it. — the leading platform for training blockchain startups.

The utility of these tokens is that ART can perform different platform functions.

In the case of our Dutch auction, ART acts as a clearing and settlement mechanism that Maecenas uses to issue digital shares of paintings. The more paintings are auctioned the higher the demand for ART will be.

ART has a fixed supply, so we anticipate that the increasing economic activity of Maecenas will play a strong role in the market dynamics of ART in crypto exchanges. The rationale here is that as the Maecenas economy grows, the market cap of ART — the Maecenas currency — should also grow with it. That is our reasoning. Of course, nobody can know or guarantee if the value will or won’t go up.

Still, the economy of Maecenas is not limited to just running auctions. For example, artworks in our platform can be leased to museums for exhibitions. The income generated by this activity is then distributed proportionally to holders of fractions of paintings or sculptures.

“This leasing and income collection function is also performed by smart contracts and therefore requires ART tokens to work.”

Besides, as the Maecenas ecosystem grows, we anticipate creating additional income-generating processes. Many of these will require smart contracts to operate (for the reasons stated above), therefore further increasing the demand for ART.

For those curious about what the future has in store for us, these are some of the business processes that we are planning to implement:

  • Artwork leasing services.
  • Asset-backed Loans using paintings or sculptures as collateral.
  • Creation of art funds linked to collections.
  • Trading of art indices tracking specific types of art, blue-chip artists, periods, regions, etc.

As you can see, ART plays a crucial role within Maecenas. It enables our platform to operate transparently and openly in a decentralised space while at the same time deriving revenue from those activities.

So, now that you know how to pronounce it and know what ART is, why not jump in and join the crowdsale? Be a part of revolutionising the art world.

Visit maecenas.co to find out more about the project.

To find more about Cofound.it and the Token sale, visit Cofound.it

If you wish to talk to the team directly, join our slack channel, join here.




The Art Investment Platform - Find more at maecenas.co