THIS CRYPTO BUSI­NESS...

The Peak (Singapore) - - Editor’s Note - JEN­NIFER CHEN

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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