THIS CRYPTO BUSINESS...
There’s a thread running through this issue that is unplanned. The overarching theme is the arts, but, by simply reporting the news in a timely way, cryptocurrency comes second in terms of topic covered. Coincidence, or indication of a trend that still boggles the mind of many a layman?
Hublot is selling a watch that can be bought only with virtual money ( Page 18) – that’s straightforward enough. And at a Vanishing Workflows exhibition at Aloft, artist Xavier Antin has put up a bitcoin mining machine whose proceeds are used to buy a real bouquet of flowers – demonstrating the crossing from the virtual to the physical ( Page 19). Okay.
But bidding in cryptocurrency to be one of 100 investors to buy 31.5 per cent of a work of art – in this case Andy Warhol’s Fourteen Small Electric Chairs – is revolutionary. Purchasers get a digital certificate of ownership, all of which is accounted for in the blockchain system that supports cryptocurrency ( Page 42).
Such sales raise a host of questions. With the fluctuating value of cryptocurrency, how does one set the price of a work? How legitimate is cryptocurrency in the fi rst place? Does the existence of traders and exchanges validate it? What is the law here? Am I a dinosaur?
I know the questions I will be asking this year. Hello, 2019!
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