Warhol Goes Crypto – Multi Million Dollar Group Sale to 100 Participants Using Blockchain-Fueled Maecenas Platform

First ever multi-million-dollar artwork tokenised and sold on blockchain - Warhol painting successfully raises funds using smart contracts and cryptocurrencies.

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Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs (1980), has been sold to 100 qualified participants on Maecenas, an art investment platform built on blockchain, in the private beta launch of the platform. This is the first time that a multi-million dollar artwork has been tokenized and sold.

The cryptocurrency auction attracted over 800 sign-ups within weeks which far surpassed expectations and was driven with a partnership with London-based fine art gallery called the Dadiani Syndicate.

Marcelo García Casil, CEO of Maecenas, said:

“This is a historical moment, for us and for the blockchain community. We have achieved a significant milestone that marks the beginning of a new era. Tokenisation of assets is the most prominent and exciting use case of blockchain technology, and we’re proud to be pioneers in this space. This Warhol painting is the first of many more to come and we are looking forward to seeing and leading the financial revolution for the art market.”

Eleesa Dadiani, founder of Dadiani Syndicate, added:

“This auction was unchartered territory; a new model in an age-old market. The unprecedented demand, and speed with which the first fraction has been sold, has gone a long way to validating our vision of a more democratic and open art investment market.”

The auction raised US$1.7m for 31.5% of the artwork at a valuation of US$5.6m.

It is the first time that a high-profile artwork from an internationally renowned artist has been tokenised and auctioned successfully using blockchain technology. The highest bid in the Dutch auction was US$6.5 million and more than 6 million ART tokens were used by the Ethereum smart contract during the auction. Maecenas was successful in achieving its main goal for this private beta launch, which was to validate the end-to-end process of the Dutch auction and artwork tokenisation using blockchain technology.

The buyers were a mix of sophisticated investors, crypto enthusiasts and fine art professionals. The participants were mostly from Europe and Asia.

Maecenas tokenised 14 Small Electric Chairs by converting it into tamper-proof digital certificates or “fractions” based on the Ethereum network. Buyers then purchased fractions of 14 Small Electric Chairs with Bitcoin, Ether or the ART token, a cryptocurrency created for Maecenas. The auction was run entirely by a smart contract.

The Maecenas blockchain gives buyers access to artworks that have been verified and are stored securely. Both the sale and subsequent trading of these certificates are tracked on a blockchain. Owners of the artwork fractions can sell their certificates to other buyers at any time via the Maecenas marketplace. The success of this auction makes a new progress from banks to cryptocurrencies that’ll lead a new way to invest in artwork, as Maecenas pursues its goal to democratise access to fine art.

14 Small Electric Chairs is part of Warhol’s 1980 Reversal series – a postmodern reworking of his iconic 1960s Death and Disaster Series. The artwork is certificated from the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board in New York.

The auction of the artwork started on Wednesday, 25 July 2018, and closed after four weeks, which was two weeks ahead of schedule. The final price for the piece was determined by a smart contract run on Ethereum, which is acclaimed as the fairest and most transparent pricing mechanism to date on the blockchain.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group ($500m+ and 50+ ICOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur.

He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups
and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and
startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat

Ad honorem - Honorary Ph.d - Chair Professor of Blockchain at
China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead
Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business
Automation 4.0 programme. Chevalier (Knight) - Ordre des Arts et des
Technologies at Crypto Chain University and on advisory board of Advisory Board Member of International Decentralized Association Of Cryptocurrency And Blockchain (IDABC) as well as Advisory Board Member at U.S. Blockchain Association.

Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+
innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME
Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for
the UK government's Innovate UK division. Kastelein has spoken
(keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich

His network is global and extensive. He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe

He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.

A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart,
Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to
TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to
marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian
expatriate living around the world

In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a
series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas'
travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and
yachting publications. 

He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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