Maecenas, a decentralized art gallery democratizing access to fine art, has announced its public token crowdsale launching September 7, 2017 at 5pm CEST. Maecenas will offer ART tokens which will let users auction masterpieces on its blockchain-powered platform. Maecenas is among the first projects to pass through Cofound.it, the leading platform for training the world’s most promising blockchain startups. It will leverage Cofound.it’s Priority Pass to host a token pre-sale commencing September 5, 2017 at 5pm CEST. The minimum sale threshold is $3 million USD, with a milestone target of $10 million USD, and a $20 million USD hard cap.
“Who wouldn’t want a piece of a Picasso?” Maecenas CEO Marcelo Garcia Casil said. “Until now, only the super-rich took an interest in fine art auctions. But we divide paintings into digitized fragments so that they are affordable. Many more people will now have access to the world of fine art.”
Maecenas injects liquidity and transparency into a $65 billion annual fine art industry currently dominated by exclusive auction houses and private dealers. Museums, galleries, and collectors sell masterpieces directly to the Maecenas community without paying traditional transaction fees of up to 30 percent.
“As for artists’ names, works by Rubens, Goya, and Picasso have already been proposed to us,” Jérôme Croisier, Maecenas Chief Art Officer said.
The ART utility token functions as a clearing and settlement mechanism for all transactions of artwork on the Maecenas ecosystem. Blockchain technology is used to break down a single piece into many fragments and create tamper-proof digital certificates denoting ownership. Supporters will be able to use ART tokens in auctions to bid for these certificates.
“The art world has been in need of modernizing, people have been craving greater transparency and liquidity,” Amelie Janssens, project management head at Notz Stucki, one of Europe’s largest asset management companies, said. “It is great to see Maecenas providing innovative solutions, bringing a new frontier for art.”
The Maecenas team is comprised of experts in financial technology and the arts. CEO Marcelo Garcia Casil previously held technical leadership positions at global banks Barclays Investment Bank, Credit Suisse, and National Australia Bank, where he designed and developed large-scale enterprise-grade systems. In addition, Garcia Casil is the Singapore Chapter Chair of the International Blockchain Real Estate Association. Maecenas Chief Art Officer Jérôme Croisier is an independent art historian and advisor with more than 20 years’ experience. Croisier’s art history research has been published in several books. Maecenas Founding Partner Miguel Neumann has more than 15 years’ experience in large-scale transactional platforms for tier-1 investment banks. Neumann has been involved in the Fine Arts space for more than eight years, with his experience including several exhibitions and successful sales.
In addition to being accepted to the Cofound.it incubation program, which grants the project access to world-leading experts in crowdsales, blockchain technology, and cryptocurrency, Maecenas has a network of distinguished industry leaders advising the project. Advisors include IG Bank CEO Fouad Bajjali, Helvetica Swiss Insurance CEO Tom Ludescher, legal expert Gimena Rabinad, Tryb Capital Partner Markus Gnirck, Aumakua Venture Fund Partner Scott Huan, Lightbulb Capital Partner Daniel Liebau, Grant Thornton Partner Luis Pastor, Wilbe Ventures Partner Alessandro Maiano, and Finarchitects Founder Philippe Beckers.
Maecenas Advisor and Founder of Swiss accelerator Fintech FUSION Guillaume Dubray said:
“FUSION advised the team to focus on one industry, the Fine Art Market. The team quickly seized the opportunity and has been able to create a unique product with enormous potential.”
Maecenas has studied global financial jurisdictions, built a minimal viable product, and lined up masterpieces to be offered on the platform. Maecenas will dedicate up to $10 million USD towards operational costs to launch its platform and open in markets around the world. Contributions beyond the $10 million will be dedicated to purchasing artworks for sale on the platform by auction.
Supporters can participate in the Maecenas crowdsale with Ethereum (ETH).