We’re Building the Tretyakov Gallery’s Blockchain-Powered App to Bring Art Patronage to a New Level

We are excited to be part of a groundbreaking blockchain-for-art project to democratise art patronage.

In conjunction with the business innovation collective RDI Digital, we will be developing a “my Tretyakov” app for renowned Moscow-based Tretyakov Gallery.

The project creates a blockchain-based art-patronage app and backend so that both individuals and smaller enterprises can make donations and become patrons of famous works of art.

Funds collected by the gallery will be used for digitalization of the gallery’s vast collection.

Blockchain technology will underpin the entire patronage structure. The artworks themselves will be securely identified by an attached cryptochip linked to a public BigChainDB blockchain. This way, the part ownership is secured using immutable blockchain technology.

The detailed specifications are still being finalised and the project build scheduled for Q1 2019 with an initial goal to have an Minimum Viable Product (MVP) by the beginning of Q2 2019. RIDDLE&CODE will lead all the blockchain related parts of the development.

The first step is to give the original art piece its immutable identity in the real world and on the blockchain. Only then will patrons and their financial contributions be entered into the system. From an IT perspective, previous solutions have merely written a set of data to a database. Now, not only is that data written in the blockchain, but we also reinforce security in several new ways.

We affix our cryptochip to the artwork, using a combination of artificial DNA and chroma keys so that any attempt at tampering will be evident. Secured in this way, our cryptochips, built on SmartMX cards with EAL 5+ for highest security, cannot be moved to another artwork or be cloned.

The cryptochip, affixed to the art piece has an identity as does the patron’s app. Linking these two identities via cryptographic computation assigns the ownership. The resulting blockchain entries can be either public or anonymous.

The use of the blockchain is critical for this link to be immutable, leading to undisputable ownership, materialised by the combination of the ownership-card and the app.

Ownership cards, that are similar in form-factor to credit cards, also contain a cryptochip so that a patron can prove ownership at any time.

Financial transactions can be executed via the app using various payment mechanisms.

All information in the system is verifiable and written to the blockchain, which will use a BigchainDB chain as the underlying ledger.

Additional features and benefits are still being defined, but they will include the ability to view a digitalised version of the artwork with exclusive characteristics, like for example 8k resolution or High Dynamic Range (HDR) imagery, special rates to visit the gallery or access an exclusive art-centred social network.