Arteïa, the Swiss art startup behind cataloging solution Arteïa Collect, announced on Monday its intention to launch an ICO to bring blockchain-based services into the world of art.

The decentralized platform will begin as a prototype on the Ethereum blockchain and will open as soon as the ICO ends; something rarely seen in the blockchain startup space. It will allow users within the art market to research, trade, lend, and showcase works of art in a transparent, peer-to-peer environment.

CEO Philippe Gellman explained the Arteïa roadmap in a press release, citing an existing €3 million investment to develop the platform. He revealed:

“Now it’s time to rocket our project on an international basis, and an ICO seemed the most accurate way to get the necessary means and develop a whole tokenized ecosystem. We will bring more efficiency and liquidity on the secondary market, with much lower fees than on the actual art market and more transparency, creating a universal ledger by anchoring in the blockchain the provenance of art pieces. The Arteïa solution powered by our ICO is a promise of greater transparency and more equal distribution for the art market.”

The ultimate goal for the project is to deliver a permissioned blockchain network with established art industry leaders as members.

Indeed, the art market is an extremely profitable asset class — sales in 2018 alone totaled $67.4 billion. Arteïa seeks to tap into this market and revolutionize it: introducing blockchain-based services which will provide full transparency with regards to pricing, artwork provenance, and commission fees.

Arteïa made headlines last November when it announced a collaboration with Cahiers d’Art — the publishers behind catalogue raisonnés by Pablo Picasso, Ellsworth Kelly, among others — to create the blockchain based artwork catalog RAISONLINE.

ARTK Token

The ARTK token, an ERC-20 token, will act as a subscription to the platform’s services as well as serving as the backbone for the peer-to-peer environment on release.

Token supply is capped at 400 million ARTK, with 50% of the supply being offered in the pre-sale and subsequent ICO. The price of the token will be decided upon shortly before the fundraising begins to account for BTC and ETH volatility, but it retains a $3.5 million soft cap, and a hard cap of $15 million.

The ICO will be announced via Arteïa’s official channels and will last two months (or until the cap is reached). Early investors will benefit from discounted tokens.

The Art of Blockchain

Blockchain continues to innovate across entire sectors of the market. The art world saw its first major blockchain development last September, when decentralized auction platform Maecenas oversaw the tokenization and auction of a share of Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs, raising $1.7 million for a 31.5% stake in the painting.

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