Technology

Fine Art Provenance on Blockchain

Today, Codex announced a blockchain protocol that puts arts & collectibles provenance on the blockchain. Backed by industry heavyweights like Christie’s President of the Americas, Brook Hazelton and prominent VC investors Bessemer Venture Partners and FJ Labs, Codex finally provides the A&C market with a title registry to prove ownership while still providing bidders and sellers with their highly-coveted privacy.

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The Codex Consortium already has commitment from over 5,000 auction houses to adopt the protocol and accept cryptocurrencies exclusively through Codex from day one. Codex’s first product, Biddable, will be a title-escrow system for the $120 billion auction market that will provide auction access to the one million excluded bidders in 2017 to bid in 2018.

Press release below

Codex Introduces Blockchain Protocol Bringing Visibility and Trust to The Arts & Collectibles Market

Native Token To Become Industry Standard As The Exclusive Cryptocurrency Accepted By Consortium

San Francisco, CA, January 15, 2017 — Codex, a cryptocurrency and decentralized title registry for the $2 trillion dollar arts & collectibles (A&C) asset class, today announced its provenance-based protocol that addresses the most pressing challenges faced by the industry. Unlike other major asset classes, the A&C market lacks a title registry, hampering the ability to buy, sell, securitize, insure, and lend against the asset class. The Codex Protocol will be powered by the BidDex Token, which will be released in a Token Generation Event (TGE) in early 2018.

Codex CEO Mark Lurie said, “The global art & collectibles market is approximately $2 Trillion, yet today there is no way to prove who owned what, when. This is especially important in art & collectibles, because almost the entire value is based on provenance and authenticity. Collectors have always balked at disclosing their assets to a central authority. Now, with the blockchain, they can prove ownership without compromising privacy. This will enable art and collectibles to flourish as a financial asset class, resulting in a larger, better, and fairer market for collectors, intermediaries and artisans.”

Codex’s landmark application, Biddable, will enable holders of cryptocurrency to bid in auctions and will increase privacy and access for all bidders through a title-escrow system. As the first application to provide direct access to the market, Biddable will drive Codex adoption from both sides of the A&C auction market. Today, auction houses lose substantial revenue to bidders who renege on items they win. Because of this, auction houses require extensive financial disclosures from potential bidders just to participate. Aside from being invasive from a privacy perspective, up to 20% of new auction applicants are excluded, especially international buyers and cryptoholders who don’t have translated or verifiable financial records. Biddable enables bidders to instantly and privately bid in auctions by depositing cryptocurrency into a smart escrow contract, which deters reneging. The Biddable application will enable cryptoholders to diversify into A&C, enables existing collectors to bid in auctions more easily, and saves auction houses substantial lost revenue.

Because the Codex Protocol and Biddable present clear solutions to common challenges in the auction markets, major stakeholders have enthusiastically embraced the protocol and technology. The Codex Consortium will span the complete spectrum of all industry partners—including collectors, auctioneers, dealers, museums, and other organizations vetted by existing members—who will adopt the protocol and exclusively accept BidDex from day one. Through the consortium members, holders of BidDex will be able to bid on over $6 Billion of A&C in tens of thousands of auctions from over 5,000 auctioneers upon launch of the protocol. Of particular note, the Consortium’s members include LiveAuctioneers.com and AuctionMobility.com, the leading marketplace and software providers, respectively, to the A&C market. Codex’s primary investors include Bessemer Venture Partners and FJ Labs. Advisors to the Codex Protocol include Brook Hazelton (Christie’s President of the Americas) and Fabrice Grinda (Super Angel and Founding Partner of FJ Labs). Furthermore, the Codex Protocol is open source, allowing third party players—such as art insurers, collateralized lenders, and art logistics providers—in the A&C ecosystem to build applications and utilize the title system.

Brook Hazelton, Christie’s President of the Americas, said, “The first priority of any auction house is its clients, which means delivering authentic items and making bidding easy for buyers, and maximizing proceeds for consignors. Decentralized applications hold immense promise to make the auction process easier, more trustworthy and more accessible, especially to the growing amount of cryptowealth around the world. It’s no surprise to me that industry players like LiveAuctioneers.com and AuctionMobility.com are embracing and supporting the Codex Protocol and Biddable.”

Fabrice Grinda, founder of FJLabs and OLX.com, said, “The vast amount of new, wealthy cryptoholders in the world are looking for uncorrelated and discrete ways to store value. Traditionally, investors have utilized art for this purpose. With The Codex and Biddable, cryptoinvestors will be able to store value in assets with low correlation to cryptocurrencies. With its technology and experienced team, The Codex Protocol is uniquely positioned to deliver the blockchain to the arts & collectibles auction market.

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