Today, ICONLOOP announced that it will "apply its blockchain-based certificate issuance service broof’ to ‘ARTnGUIDE’, the first online service platform in Korea for co-purchasing works of art operated by Yeolmae Company."

ARTnGUIDE is a unique platform in the sense that it allows individuals to purchase "shares" of artwork, rather than the entire piece of art.

Let's assume an art enthusiast has great admiration for a newly-discovered work by Pablo Picasso. On the open market, such a painting could go for millions of dollars - an amount out of reach for many individuals.

However, ARTnGUIDE's platform allows them to purchase a fraction of the painting and retain ownership of a certain percentage. ARTnGUIDE then holds the paintings in a private viewing area, which can be accessed only by those who own a share of a given work of art.

Not only does the art enthusiast have the opportunity to now own a share of an admired painting, they'll also reap whatever appreciation in value that artwork might see. That means if a painting goes up in value by 20%, so will their share in that same painting.

Launched in 2018, ARTnGUIDE's first sale was a success (apologies for the rough translation):

Co-purchase of Kim Hwan-ki's 'Sanwol' was completed within 7 minutes from the online platform art and guide (www.artnguide.com) operated by Yuza Company.
The company sold the company's holdings as previously announced and closed in seven minutes.A total of 19 buyers completed the deposit within 30 minutes and confirmed the purchase.It is known that the total amount of shares purchased by buyers is 39 million won.

So why is this important for ICON?

A couple of reasons:

  • Since 'broof' operates on the ICON public blockchain, that means this service will run on the ICON public chain, providing an important use case for the ICON project.
  • Certifying ownership over authentic pieces of artwork is an obvious use-case for blockchain. The fact that ICON is among the first-movers in this arena is very encouraging.
Source: ICON Foundation

The art industry is rife with counterfeits and false claims of ownership. If implemented correctly, blockchain technology can eliminate both these issues and greatly improve confidence in the art market. Fortunately, ICON is putting itself front-and-center of this emerging service.