Blockchain has the power to revolutionize industries, change processes that have been established for decades and protect people. This can be seen in the pioneering ventures of blockchain, such as peer-to-peer payments employing a Luno Bitcoin wallet, avoiding car fraud by recording car history and mileage on the blockchain. And governments are even toying with the idea of using blockchain to secure voting systems.
The same technology may be entering the art world and specifically the photography market. As photography has become digitalized over the last decade, the two go together well and can change the way photographs are collected, traded and maybe even how we attend galleries. Here are the details.
Issues in Photography and the World of Art
The biggest obstacle that has always faced the world of art is transparency. Knowing who is the owner of a piece of art can be difficult, even for the experts. Throughout time, artists have always etched their names into their paintings to establish that they were the creators. This is not always a perfect way of tracing the history and origin of a painting, and it is not common practice among photographers.
Add to that the digitalization of photography and how easy a photograph can be spread around the planet (via social media and media outlets) – and we have a problem with inferring ownership of a photograph, whether it be art or not.
Blockchain Can Protect Photographers
There is an opportunity for blockchain technology to eradicate this problem and provide the art world with that elusive transparency. Using blockchain, photographers could register their image on the blockchain, enabling anyone who views it or buys its rights to easily trace the origin of it and its artist.
The same has already been discussed in another art form, the music industry. Musicians, songwriters, drummers and producers are all able to receive a fair cut from music royalties and avoid the need for court cases to get what they are owed. All because the blockchain can publicly record who was involved.
The Future of Art Collection
If the blockchain does prevail in photography and protect photographers’’ ownership of images, it could change the way this type of art is collected. Just like the photograph’s origin being recorded on the blockchain, so could the journey and lifecycle of a photograph.
For example, anyone who purchases the photograph form the owner could then register the image in their name with the payment and date of purchase recorded as a block. This would allow the creator to see how their piece of art is moving around the world, swapping hands with owners and collectors.
There is also the possibility that these changes could spell the birth of more digital galleries where owners post a photograph in an online space for art lovers to enjoy. The exact details will only be known when the two come together.