Thomas Crown Art project wants to use blockchain to eradicate art forgery

The tech and art worlds have come together on a project that will use blockchain technology to fight art forgery.

The venture is called Thomas Crown Art and has been set up by art dealer Stephen Howes and technology expert Ian McLeod.

Howes said: “Forgeries are, unfortunately, a growing and serious problem in the art world. The fraudsters, who are getting better and better at producing both fake artwork and provenance documentation, have been wreaking havoc throughout the market in the last couple of years.

“Art crime is a huge business. However, I believe going forward, both art and provenance forgery can be stamped out with the clever use of blockchain/decentralised ledger technology at the point the artwork is created.”

Physical artwork will be used as a store of value, with each piece linked to a Certificate of Provenance stored on the blockchain. The physical artwork can therefore be used as a wallet, able to store crypto.

“We’ve created an innovative solution for artists and art collectors providing the ability to use new works of art as a literal ‘store of value’ and serve as a cryptocurrency wallet for owners whilst providing an independent method to conclusively prove the provenance of artwork quickly and easily, and to view an immutable chain of ownership,” McLeod added.

“Using a blockchain to authenticate artwork is an ideal use-case for distributed ledger technology. It provides the ability to store a permanent, immutable record of artwork at the point of creation which can be used to authenticate registered works by anyone with an internet connection.”

“Using this cutting-edge technology, the art world can eradicate one of its biggest and most expensive problems – forgery – and can protect artists, galleries, and private owners and collectors,” added Howes.