Posted: August 31, 2018 -
The three trillion dollar Art and Collectibles (A&C) market is often a major target for fraud and forgery. The market has been facing these issues for decades with not only single pieces of artwork being forged but whole collections as well.
Major advances in nanotechnology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) provide solutions for securing physical assets through online registries. Protecting the monetary value, as well as the integrity of artworks, has been a challenge for decades. Once “tagged”, blockchain technology promises a way to maintain records of the authenticity and provenance of valuable pieces.
Blockchain for the Rest of Us
Blockchain is an electronic ledger that a community of users share. Every member of the network has the exact same log of transactions as everyone else in the community. When one member updates the log every other participant’s record updates simultaneously. Each transaction – or block – the technology chains to previous transactions becomes immutable. No one can change a block once it is in the chain. In this way, SEAL’s blockchain technology permits an observer to trace the real and unaltered path of any item logged in the blockchain.
Diamonds Are Forever
One of the major partnerships that made this possible is the collaboration between the Codex Protocol, a decentralized title registry for unique assets, and DUST Identity, a Boston-based tech company that focuses on connecting real-world objects to a digital supply chain. Since Codex Protocol was built with the idea of partnership in mind, DUST Identity happened to be the perfect fit for the this collaboration.
DUST’s military-grade nanotechnology provides a unique and extremely durable security tagging system promises a cost-effective authentication solution while reducing the chance of human error. The technology uses diamond dust to create a unique identity layer on any object you wish to protect. The Codex Protocol then provides Codex Asset registry links to the protected objects.
READ MORE: BLOCKCHAIN COMPANIES IN THE ART MARKET
Seal of Authenticity
Netherlands-based Seal offers another authentication solution. Seal’s technology integrates Near Field Communications (NFC) microchips underpinned by blockchain technology to provide law enforcement, producers and consumers a way to regain and build greater trust in high-end products.
NFC is a branch of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, which is used in warehouse and logistics to manage inventory and transport. Like RFID, NFC requires a receiver to detect and decode the unique radio signal from an NFC microchip transmitter. Android phones made over the last couple years and the iPhone 6/6s and more recent iPhone models have NFC electronics built into them to recognize NFC signatures. Each microchip is paired with a digital counterpart on a Seal blockchain network, connecting the real-world object to the online registry.
The Value of Veracity
The tech startup Veracity Protocol suggests AI and Augmented Reality (AR) can protect art and other physical assets, all from a smartphone. Their design involves using AI to create a unique fingerprint of an object through an AR filter on the smartphone. The app stores the authentication record on a blockchain network.
Overall, emergent “tagging” technologies that aim to protect the value of art suggest major changes threaten to disrupt the A&C marketplace. With tech companies competing to create the most effective solution. it won’t be long before all valuable physical objects will have online lives as well.