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Artfi makes it simple to invest in fractional NFTs of fine art

It can be difficult to purchase fine art, as it often involves paying astronomical prices as well as ongoing maintenance costs.

Consider the sale of a priceless painting by VS Gaitonde, one of India’s most prominent abstract painters. One of the most expensive works of modern or contemporary Indian art ever sold was at Pundole’s (an auction house) in Mumbai in February of this year for Rs 42 crore.

This is merely the tip of the iceberg in the realm of art.

“In the traditional fine art industry, a buyer spending millions of dollars on artwork only gets a one-page document as an authenticity certificate. There is no technology to prevent tampering with it,” says Asif Kamal, founder of Artfi—a Web3 company looking to democratise art through Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). 

Artfi intends to tokenize actual works of art before fractionalizing them into smaller parts that can all be held by anyone, anywhere in the world, in the form of NFTs.

These NFTs, which are investments in legendary blue-chip works by well-known artists like VS Gaitonde, Sacha Jafri, and others, will be available to buy and sell on its website.

“In the traditional art world, collectors also have no transparency or proof of history and previous sales, etc. With NFTs, in the form of authentic digital certificates, it is possible to record proof of ownership and transfer on the blockchain,” the founder tells The Decrypting Story.

These NFTs, which are investments in legendary blue-chip works by well-known artists like VS Gaitonde, Sacha Jafri, and others, will be available to buy and sell on its website.

“In the traditional art world, collectors also have no transparency or proof of history and previous sales, etc. With NFTs, in the form of authentic digital certificates, it is possible to record proof of ownership and transfer on the blockchain,” the founder tells The Decrypting Story. 

introducing fresh viewpoints to the art world

Asif is well-versed in this field. He has experience in the industry from running the international art-house and auction organization Alturaash. The corporation anticipates that fractionalization will solve the issue of exclusive ownership, notwithstanding the enormous obstacle.

The startup tokenizes and fractionalises the painting after receiving actual artwork via consignment, which entails trusting an art gallery or auction house with the painting to be sold. This can range in size from 5,000 to 10,000 pieces.

The NFTs are then put up for sale to anyone who shows interest. “By fractionalising the art, we sell to hundreds of buyers, not one. And buyers are free to trade these NFTs in a secondary marketplace. As such, the nature of the fine art asset changes into a tradable asset,” Asif explains.

Due to this wager on fractionalization, the enterprise was able to raise $3.26 million in a funding round headed by private investors at a valuation of $100 million.

It is currently progressing toward amassing a sizable body of artwork. As of now, Artfi has accepted art consignments from MF Husain, VS Gaitonde, Sacha Jafri, and his museum collection (worth over $10 million). It also has $16 million in assets under management that are awaiting conversion to NFTs.

Artfi isn’t the first to try this, of course. Users can already purchase wonderful works of art from Masterworks, a non-Web3 player in the fine art market, for as little as $20 each.

In addition, some renowned museums and auction houses, like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, have started testing with Web3.

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