John McAfee Involved in Tokenizing Rare Art
Token-based, partial ownership of a Picasso painting through blockchain technology is one of the early use cases of value-based tokens.
Tokenizing real-world value has been an idea making the circles in crypto space. From buildings to businesses or metal mining rights, offering to own a part through a cryptographic token is seen as a viable investment opportunity. But tokenizing artworks has also been a part of the business. Now, John McAfee has joined the fray, by tokenizing a piece of art by Pablo Picasso.
The opportunity opened by the Maecenas platform has found one of its first real-world applications. But it is still unknown which painting exactly will be tokenized. The process will also involve hiding the picture from view:
“We are tokenizing a masterpiece, and making the painting perpetually inaccessible. Any eventual release date of the physical painting can only be decided via a voting process by token holders, after the minimum amount of time has passed well into the future,” explained Maecenas in a blog.
Art tokenization is not the exclusive area of the Maecenas project, and works of art already fall under shared ownership:
However, the fate of the ART token has not been so bright. In the case of Maecenas, the underlying token used to buy and sell fractions of artworks has been extremely volatile. Hype has seen the token appreciate, then crash.
ART suddenly lost more than 22% of its value in 24 hours down to $0.14. The value of the token has reached above $2.18 during peak times in January, in effect making the share in a painting fluctuate with market forces. ART trades on IDEX and HitBTC, on low volumes and with worrying volatility.
The entire market capitalization of ART tokens is $5.64 million as of November 13, 2018. In theory, tokenizing a work of art could lift the price of the token. The most expensive Picasso painting to date was sold at auction for $106.5 million.
At this point, tokenization is still in the early stages, as part of the processes to create and distribute security tokens. However, the nature and legality of security tokens is still a topic under discussion. Maecenas itself will have to struggle with KYC procedures to ensure the correct ownership of the still-unannounced work of art.
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