Rembrandt goes on the Blockchain
Good Friday was the day when the world saw the first great work of art transferred to the blockchain forever.
Rembrandt’s ‘The Virgin and child in the clouds’ was scanned and validated by V-ID at Douwes Fine Art, one of the oldest and most respected art dealers in Europe. Also present was a notary and partner from CMS, one of the largest law firms globally, in order to carry out a jurisdiction check on all parties and to ensure full legal compliance and confidence in this particular information on the blockchain.
Transference to blockchain
Firstly, Rembrandt’s etching was recorded by the V-ID team with a series of macro photographs, catching every part of the visible surface. These photographs were then put into a PDF file and stored on 4 disparate blockchains, together with further information such as the materials used and a full history of the piece.
V-ID is using more than one blockchain for the validation file and these include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Digibyte and the LTO Network. This means that there are thousands of nodes protecting the authenticity of each file.
How is this file validated?
In order to actually check that this piece of art is the original and unadulterated version, any recipient of the file can use V-IDs online portal to validate it in under 5 seconds. The macro photos contained within are used to check the type of paper, strokes and any other distinguishing marks in order to verify authenticity.
This is the first time that V-ID’s technology has been used to authenticate a physical medium given that thus far it has been used solely for any type of digital files. This obviously opens up an infinite array of use cases to say nothing of further authentication of pieces within the art world.
Overcoming art fraud
Fraudulent copying of art pieces has been a serious problem throughout history in the world of art and the first foolproof method to combat this is going to elicit a huge sigh of relief for galleries, museums and art collectors across the globe.
Evert Douwes, expert appraiser of fine art and owner of the Douwes Fine Art family business, is convinced that the use of blockchain is invaluable in the fight against art fraud. He also states that the collection of everything known about any particular work of art and its storage on the blockchain will avoid the possible loss of records in any unforeseen circumstances such as fire etc.
Europe’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) meant far-reaching implications for all businesses when they came into force in May 2018. A lack of compliance with these regulations has caused many companies to be levied with huge fines — even including such well-known brands as Google and Facebook.
V-ID as a business is no different and therefore recording files on the blockchain could contravene ‘the right to be forgotten’. The use of multiple and decentralised blockchains is a way around this issue. Also, supplying a certain password means that any particular file can only be accessed by an authorised person.
The V-ID platform has been successfully used since 2018 by major clients such as Airbus Defence and Space and the platform is also attracting clients from fields as diverse as education, medical, legal, research and tech.
Recording and storing pieces of art on the blockchain opens up yet another use case for blockchain and for V-ID’s authentication platform in particular. As this technology becomes more widespread and accepted throughout the world V-ID can be expected to become a global leader in the security of digital and physical objects. It will be exciting to witness V-ID’s journey into this future.
Disclaimer: I have a varied portfolio which does include a small amount of VIDT tokens. All the above views are my own and should in no way be taken as financial advice. All those wishing to invest in the crypto market should do their own research or use the services of a fully certified financial advisor.