Cole Petersen · 4 hours ago · 2 min read · Insights via Alex Krüger
Blockchain is enabling a new era of frictionless payments and is disrupting multiple industries across the board–including art. Last month, Andy Warhol’s “14 Small Electric Chairs” was sold on decentralized auction platform Maecenas.
First Multi-Million Painting Sold in Blockchain Auction
Bidders on Maecenas purchased a 31.5 percent stake in Andy Warhol’s “14 Small Electric Chairs” painting during an online auction, according to a press release.
Founded in 2017, Maecenas allows users to purchase up to 49 percent of valuable art collectibles using Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) or the platform’s native ART token. Successful bidders are granted a digital share of the artwork, which can be traded privately or used to “collect dividends when the artworks are leased to galleries and museums for profit.”
Using cryptocurrency, auction participants invested $1.7 million in Warhol’s piece, which is currently valued at $5.6 million.
The artwork’s original owners will retain a 51 percent stake in the piece and will ensure its security and maintenance in a third-party facility.
ART Token Democratizing Fine Art Investments
The sale of “14 Small Electric Chairs” marks Maecenas’ first successful tokenization and auction of a world-renowned art piece.
In the press release, Marcelo Garcia Casil, CEO of Maecenas, said:
“Tokenization 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.”
With assistance from London-based gallery Dadiani Syndicate, Maecenas was able to issue over 6 million ART tokens and attract a bid worth $6.5 million during the auction.
The success of the platform’s launch opens a new realm of possibility for future art investments by collectors, investors, galleries and funds wishing to take part in the exclusive art trade.
Founder of Dadiani Syndicate, Eleesa Dadiani, stated:
“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.”