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What Are The Challenges To Blockchain Adoption In The Art Industry? 5 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 19 May 2019
  • Sam Mire

Most blockchain use cases revolve around transparency. But what if industry players stand to gain from secrecy?

That’s a concern some hold in the art market. Market speculators prefer a foggier art marketplace ripe for manipulation. This works against blockchain adoption.

Then there’s the simple matter of understanding. The value of a Picasso is straightforward enough. It costs X, so the buyer must pay X in order to own it. Some see the introduction of blockchain and cryptocurrencies as red tape that complicates a straightforward proposition.

Convincing traditionalists of blockchain’s value is likely wasted breath. But prominent art collectors in their twilight years aren’t going to stop blockchain adoption — live use cases have proven this.

But education about the blockchain’s benefits will be necessary, even for younger collectors. Because blockchain implementation costs money, persuasion is essential. The perks of the technology fortunately sell themselves, traditionalists be damned.

1. Judy Mam, Co-founder of DADA

Judy Mam“In the art world in particular, even though there is interest, I sense resistance towards more transparency and independence for artists because the art world is predicated on secrecy and a few important players decide the fate of a very speculative market. But I think a more practical challenge that hampers blockchain mass adoption in any industry is that it is still too complicated to use. The moment transactions are fast, easy and streamlined in a way that the consumer has to make the least possible effort, mass adoption will happen.”

2. Robert Norton, CEO and Founder of Verisart

Robert Norton“It’s always hard to affect change of habit and we are just at the very beginning of getting people to move away from centuries-old reliance on paper to embracing more secure digital identities for their physical artworks and collectables.  We’re over the first phase of education but we still have to build habit and expectation to achieve broader adoption.”

3. Steve Gow, Co-Founder of

Steve Gow“The biggest challenge to adoption of blockchain in the art industry is that the end-user is frequently being asked to understand blockchain in order to use a blockchain product. This doesn’t happen in other industries.

For example, consumers are not asked to understand how the protocol of the internet works or to acquire special e-currency in order to buy products on Amazon. Consumers either need to adopt cryptocurrency wholeheartedly (doubtful in the near term) or blockchain art ventures need to focus on making it easier for their customers to use their product without knowing anything about blockchain and without using cryptocurrencies or tokens.”

4. Marcelo Garcia Casil, CEO and Founder of Maecenas

Marcelo García Casil“Art is still a very traditional market, with many of the large players used to centuries-old methods, even if they are archaic and out-of-sync with current best practices. However, the market is changing as more people now see the value and need to utilize modern-day tools and infrastructure.”

5. Matthew Arnett, CEO of FORT NFT Protocol

Matthew Arnett“Tradition will slow but not kill blockchain’s innovation in the art industry. While overtones in the industry are positive, there will have to be a cultural shift encouraging all of the stakeholders in the art industry to trust the tech more.

Traditionally, the art industry is relatively clannish and doesn’t welcome change. Most of the validators are from the generation of 50s and 60s and are stained in tradition. They will have to accept that there is a technology solution that can add value to the art ecosystem and ensure that there is no loss of money to existing players.”


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About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.