On July 17, 2018, Christie’s Education and Vastari will attempt to define that role by hosting several dozen art-world, technology, and business experts at Christie’s London for the first annual Art+Tech Summit.

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At its most basic, a blockchain is exactly that—a digital chain composed of encrypted blocks of transaction information, organized sequentially by time. As already mentioned, this ledger is distributed, which means all participants on a given network see the same thing, ensuring transparency without sacrificing security. From the perspective of the art world, which uses banks, dealers, and auction houses to act as escrow agents on transactions, a peer-to-peer blockchain network accomplishes this critical function without the help of traditional intermediaries. In short, blockchain could be about to upend the financial infrastructure of the art world.

Image WORLDWEBFORUM Leanne Kemp, Founder & CEO of Everledger. Image WORLDWEBFORUM

One of the Summit’s two keynote speakers, Leanne Kemp, knows a great deal about this implication of blockchain in the art world. Her company, Everledger, is already using blockchain to serve as an “immutable ledger for diamond ownership and related transaction history verification for insurance companies, owners, claimants, and law enforcement agencies.” Given this background, it’s a good bet that Kemp will speak about how blockchain could also be used in the art world to eliminate risk and fraud when buying and selling high-value assets such as works of art.

Anne Bracegirdle, Photographs Specialist, Christie's London. Image Christie's Anne Bracegirdle, Photographs Specialist, Christie's London. Image Christie's

The afternoon’s keynote speaker will be Anne Bracegirdle, who is the Photographs Specialist for Christie’s London. Will Bracegirdle discuss what blockchain might mean to an auction house like Christie’s, as well as what Christie’s is already doing to integrate blockchain into its transaction and identity-verification processes? Might she muse about how blockchain could manage the shared ownership of works of art purchased for investments by consortiums of friends, collectors, dealers, or all three? Well, you’ll just have to attend the Art+Tech Summit to find out!

Read more about the event here!