Bitcoin is apparently entering the mainstream through art.
An anonymous buyer recently spent $ 131,250 in fiat dollars to purchase Block 21, a work of art created by Ben Gentill of Robert Alice. Robert Alice is a London-based art project focused on promoting the blockchain.
The piece, which contains a physical plate and a digital mark (not fungible), is part of a series of works known as “Portraits of a Mind”. Christie’s, who sold this particular piece at auction, found that $ 131,250 is more than seven times its high estimate of around $ 20,000.
#AuctionUpdate Robert Alice’s ‘Block 21 (42.36433 ° N, -71.26189 ° E) (from Portraits of a Mind)’ – a work based on blockchain technology – was sold for $ 131,250, reaching more than 7x its high esteem. https://t.co/fJ4un7gHGW pic.twitter.com/bptv3k06DN
– Christie’s (@ChristiesInc) October 7, 2020
What are portraits of a ghost? How is it related to Bitcoin?
Portraits of a Mind is a “global art project to decentralize the founding code behind Bitcoin into 40 fragments”. Each of the 40 paintings contains “exactly 322,048 digits of the original Satoshi Nakamoto code”.
Of course, the technology serves no technological purpose: these disks are not complete nodes that can serve as storage of Bitcoin history, or ASIC machines that can process transactions. However, the idea behind decentralizing the plates is to symbolically show how the cryptocurrency and underlying code are not centralized or controlled by a central authority:
“Once these 40 fragments of code are distributed globally, they will decentralize the imagery and build a global network of collectors in which no central authority will store all of the code.”
The work is also a callback to the Rai stones, which were one of the earliest forms of money. Many in the cryptocurrency space consider rai stones to be one of the origins of money and often use this example to show how money can be inflated when there is no supply cap. For context, the rai stones were blown away after people from overseas brought their own “rai stones”.
Portraits of a Mind should essentially represent the 5,000-year history that led to the foundation of Bitcoin.
“From the code breakers at Bletchley Park to the exact location of Hal Finney at the time of the first Bitcoin transaction, these 40 locations together form a network of their own that spans 5,000 years of human history and acts as proxy for the ideas, movements and people who do this fed into the revolutionary creation of Satoshi Nakamoto. ”
NFTs gain traction
While it is not clear how much of the value of this work of art comes from the non-fungible token associated with the item, this segment of the cryptocurrency market has grown in importance over the past few weeks.
Tokens, representing art or digital ownership of a unique good, have grown in importance in recent weeks as investors have tried to find the next hot trend in DeFi.
Photo by Roxanne Desgagnés on Unsplash Price tags: xbtusd, btcusd, btcusdt Charts from TradingView.com Bitcoin-Themed NFT Sells For $130,000 in Christie's Auction