CBx Daily

Can Blockchain Fuel Black Art Sales?

January 14, 2022

By CultureBanx Team

  • Blockchain offers the ability for Black artists to track and verify their art work, along with the possibility of fractional ownership
  • Art sales in the online market amounted to $5.9 billion in 2019 and are forecasted to increase to a total of $9.32 billion by 2024

Today the primary and secondary markets for Black artists’ work are at all-time highs, driving some of the most closely watched sales in the industry. Blockchain offers the ability for Black artists to track and verify their art work, along with the possibility of fractional ownership, thereby lowering barriers to entry into the world of art collection. Art sales in the online market amounted to $5.9 billion in 2019 and are forecasted to increase to a total of $9.32 billion by 2024, according to Statista. As art continues to be both a strong alternative investment option and increasingly popular for the Black elite, can cryptocurrencies and blockchain change the art landscape?

Why This Matters: Via blockchain, Black artists have complete control over the sale and distribution of their own work. Wealthy people all over the world continue to buy art as both showcases of their deep bank accounts and to diversify their investment portfolios.  While cash is still king, cryptocurrencies are becoming an increasingly more prevalent way to make purchases and blockchain is becoming the trusted ledger of record. In the art world, blockchain-based platforms allow artists to register the copyright and provenance data for their art on tokens. These tokens are unique immutable assets, ensuring each piece’s legitimacy.

There's been a recent spending spree on paintings by Black artists highlighted with the sales of Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Flesh & Spirit" for $30.7 million and Kerry James Marshall's "Past Times", which was purchased by Diddy for $21.1 million. As the Black elite expands (think Diddy, Swizz Beatz, and Jay Z), what they’re putting their money into art collections they intend to pass on to their children. In order to stay ahead of the curve they will need to pay attention to the many art focused funds on the market and look to buy new pieces with cryptocurrencies. This may be a safer alternative for purchasing art because it ensures the transactions are tracked using blockchain technology.  It will be a way to prove undisputed ownership over generations and also provide an opportunity to even purchase digital art.  

Exactly how does this work?  Cryptocurrency creates scarcity and blockchain technology generates an official record. So as someone buys physical or digital art, the pieces will have certain digital "authentic" copies and everything will be tracked via the blockchain system. It ensures anyone can access the receipts and inventory of art a person owns digitally.

Situational Awareness: As a new wave of financial technology starts to become mainstream, it’s important the current and future Black elite pay attention to alternative ways to amass wealth. Blockchain technology as it relates to art is a good way to diversify investments and ultimately be part of the game as the economy evolves over the next decade.

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