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Da Vinci Returns to List Mona Lisa on the Blockchain

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Da Vinci Returns to List Mona Lisa on the Blockchain

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Bitcoin core developer Peter Todd has defended Blockchain art startup Verisart against Terence Eden after claims that the company mistakenly believed Eden had painted the Mona Lisa, according to Bitcoinist.

Verisart, launched in 2015 is the world’s leading platform to certify and verify artworks and collectibles using the Bitcoin blockchain, after appearing on the scene with the original idea of using the immutability of blockchain to create certification to the fine art market.

Todd alleged Eden, who currently runs Open Standards for the UK Government Digital Service (GDS), “misunderstood what Verisart is” after the company uploaded the Mona Lisa to the Blockchain with Eden as the artist.

“Verisart is a tool to collect and timestamp evidence, not an authoritative blockchain; his Mona Lisa claim is an obvious fraud [without] evidence,” Todd wrote.

Allegedly, Verisart had required only “an email address” and “a photo of the Mona Lisa from Wikipedia” as “proof” he had painted it after he had published a blog post detailing the Eden experiment. “I don’t understand the blockchain hype,” Eden wrote on Twitter in response to Todd and explained:

“A startup has certified my artwork & placed their verification on the Bitcoin blockchain. Now art dealers & auctioneers can feel secure that I am the original artist. One small problem… I am not Leonardo da Vinci!”

This work is certified and verified on a decentralized public ledger with its digital provenance data permanently verifiable on the bitcoin blockchain.

Verisart’s Todd responded:

“What Verisart’s tech – specifically [open timestamps] – prevented… [Eden from] creating backdated evidence. If he tried to forge that evidence, it’d still show up as being created recently, and thus be suspicious,” he continued.

Stephan Vogler, an artist, and entrepreneur based in Germany, feels that blockchain can become an excellent foil against forgery or dubious claims by “artists”, suggesting that by placing a hash value of digital artwork on the blockchain, buyers can verify that the artwork has been licensed:

“Bitcoin offers a solution to this problem. Just like Bitcoin can replace banknotes, it can replace the piece of paper with the license text on it. I see great potential in Bitcoin and its technology.”

Registering art on the blockchain creates a cryptographic link between a physical work and the blockchain, meaning once it is registered, its identity can be automatically authenticated for potential buyers. This eliminates any forgeries or shady dealings from taking place.


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