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Blockchain Art Registry Acquires Database With Info From 4K Auction Houses

The new deal will put a database that includes sales info from 4,000 art auction houses worldwide on blockchain.

The blockchain-based art registry startup Artory has acquired auction house database Auction Club, according to a tweet from Artory on March 21.

Auction Club is a subscription-only database containing sales information from more than 4,000 international auction houses.

According to industry media outlet The Art Newspaper, the move is set to make Auction Club’s sales data — reportedly gathered from around 250 businesses in 40 countries — public for the first time. The data will be available in Artory’s registry beginning in May, the report states.

Artory’s CEO, Nanne Dekking — formerly the vice chairman of Sotheby’s New York — was quoted in the publication as saying: “We couldn’t pass up this opportunity to acquire millions of data quickly that we can leverage to improve our products.”

Replying to concerns voiced by the publication that the aggregation of a huge amount of data under one company could contradict the idea of the distributed nature of blockchain technology, Paul Stabe, Artory’s chief product officer, underlined:

“The decentralisation of blockchain is a security benefit, not a solution. And for the art world, being able to leverage blockchain to provide access to credible data that are free is a huge benefit.”

In October 2018, Christie’s — the auction house with a history going back over 250 years — announced a pilot scheme with Artory to use blockchain for auction data. The partnership proposed using the technology to provide details and certificates of purchases to buyers.

Last fall, one of the world’s most famous art galleries, the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia, launched the blockchain-based project “My Tretyakov. ” The project allows individuals as well as enterprises to make a private donations, as Cointelegraph reported.

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University Researchers Turn to Blockchain to Preserve Cultural Heritage

A team from China’s Tsinghua University has filed a patent application detailing a role for blockchain technology in protecting cultural heritage.

According to a patent filing submitted in April and revealed on Friday, three faculty members of the university have developed a concept for a system that can store and share digital versions of culturally important objects using a blockchain.

The three inventors – including Tan Jiajia, a postdoctoral researcher and Lu Xiaobu, the head of the university’s Academy of Art and Design – explain in the document that the system primarily consists of two parts.

The first involves a 3D computing model that can scan a culturally important object in order to provide it with a form in the digital realm. In the second stage, the system automatically stores each object’s data on a private blockchain via a cryptographic process called hashing.

By including other cultural heritage holders (such as museums) as participating nodes, they say the blockchain platform could eventually grow into a consortium in which each party will obtain a shared ledger of cultural heritage data and be able to update it with their own archive.

On top of that, the patent filing adds, the system will produce a hash for the full ledger on the private blockchain whenever it gets updated, which would be further transacted to a public blockchain for enhanced visibility.

The team writes in the patent:

“Based on the unique design of blockchain for exchanging information, the digital identify of each cultural heritage can be transferred among different parties at lower costs with higher efficiency, so that we can enlarge their economic and social values.”

While the document does not disclose exact details on how the private blockchain would be developed, the inventors indicate that their early stage exploration had been based on Tencent’s Trust blockchain platform – a product the internet giant announced in April of last year.

See the full patent application below:

Tsinghua University Patent by CoinDesk on Scribd

Buddha image via Shutterstock

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