Blockchain and art: why Vastari wants to drive the conversation forward
“Hold on a moment - is Vastari a blockchain company now?”
That’s been the reaction we’ve received from various people throughout the years - when our collaboration with Everledger was published on Coindesk, when we wrote an article about the importance of data transparency and privacy in the art world, when we started organising meetups for techies looking to learn more about blockchain and when we spoke on various panels about the technology, even in Slovenia!
But blockchain should be seen as a tool - not a descriptor for a company. Vastari has been working on distributed ledger technology (DLT for short) solutions for the past two years since 2016, but releasing these products to the market requires client interest and understanding, a sustainable business model and a real value proposition. In order to make sure that our DLT products are really helping the industry, we are developing them off-the-chain first, proving that they work before taking them to the next level, into the world of immutability.
Also, it is important for the products developed to have a truly significant distributed network - otherwise why use DLT in the first place? Some data can be put into the public blockchains that are available, like open-source Ethereum or Hyperledger frameworks. But if you want to create something where the data saved to the ledger can be trusted, key market players need to be on board and contribute to the consensus algorithms.
This is not a time to be putting boxes around companies that are innovating with blockchain - it is a time for collaboration, brainstorming, education and openness. Only then can we create digital products, powered by blockchain, that can be really useful for the industry.
Back in December 2017, a lot of hype developed for cryptocurrencies and ICO’s. This was good news for the crypto-currency companies looking to profit from that hype - but bad news for the companies building real propositions with blockchain (the tech underlying cryptocurrencies) that have nothing to do with the hype.
Because of the need for collaboration, and the huge amount of disinformation that was going around, we approached Christie’s to create an event about blockchain. It was amazing to have an established institution welcome our proposition with open arms. To be honest, things are already changing at the auction houses - they’re hiring AI experts, buying up tech companies and developing in-house innovation teams. This is why I think our proposition to talk about art & tech struck a chord.
Tomorrow we have over 300 people from the art & tech space attending a symposium at Christie’s King Street, with more than 30 expert speakers. I am so excited that we can come together and discuss the opportunities. It shouldn’t be that people suddenly ask whether Vastari is a “blockchain company” - but, if anything, that we’re a part of a “blockchain industry”.