Swinburne to transform art industry using blockchain technology

Friday 6 April 2018

View of the ArtChain Launch at NGV.

Swinburne was announced as the official research and development partner at ArtChain Global’s launch at the National Gallery of Victoria.

In summary

  • Swinburne partners with ArtChain Global to develop blockchain technology 
  • The digital platform will support the registration and trade of art assets

Blockchain technology platform being developed by Swinburne researchers will revolutionise the global art trade industry through a partnership with ArtChain Global, a digital platform used to authenticate and trade art.

In an Australian first, the platform will use the underlying technology of blockchain to support the registration, trade and tracking of art assets across their entire lifecycle.

ArtChain will digitally store information such as provenance – the history of ownership of a work – and verification of authenticity on the blockchain.

“We are pleased to partner with ArtChain Global in the development of this game changing technology platform,” says Professor Aleksandar Subic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development). 

Blockchain at Swinburne

Professor Subic says that blockchain technology will be a key digital innovation platform for Swinburne supporting our Industry 4.0 Strategy across all our Institutes and industry verticals.

“Blockchain is at the heart of our industry 4.0 strategy. We are taking blockchain into the physical world by developing a blockchain-enabled IoT platform that integrates cyber and physical systems. This is the next frontier for blockchain development.”

Swinburne blockchain research and development will focus in particular on supply chain and trade across art and creative industries, manufacturing, food and health domains.

Professor Subic says blockchain at Swinburne represents an interdisciplinary capability platform that brings together engineers, computer scientists, designers and artists, business and law experts, and other researchers.

“This approach is quite unique within the tertiary sector and industry in general,” he says.

Shaping a new view of art

Speaking at the official launch of ArtChain Global, renowned Australian artist John Young spoke to the power of blockchain and how it will shape our view of art.

“Blockchain will transform our worldview in the arts in a way not unlike photography transformed it in the 19th century,” says Mr Young. 

“It will redefine originality, reproduction and value once more - and challenge the 20th century frivolity in the mediatisation of images.”

ArtChain Global Chief Operating Officer Cameron McQueen says the platform can remove doubt related to art fraud and restore confidence in both buyers and sellers.

“Art fraud and being able to prove authenticity has been a problem in the art world since the beginning of time,” says Mr McQueen.

“We now have the technology which can revolutionise the tracking and the history of art works moving forward.”

ArtChain Global will also act as a discovery tool for users to buy and sell authentic art, opening up a global market for Australian artists who have registered their work by connecting them with buyers, auction houses, galleries, curators, and talent managers worldwide.

Following its Australian launch, ArtChain Global will launch in China; a strategic move to ensure it will become the preferred digital hub for authentic art from across the world.