037. Tokenizing Securities in Art with Richard McBeath

“When we talk about securities tokens, that you openly can talk about a financial return because you’re investing in a product or a business with the expectation of financial return. When we talk about utility tokens and utility token sales, we’re talking about purchasing tokens in order to access or use a product or service so there shouldn’t be any expectation for financial return.”

Richard_McBeathRichard McBeath, VP of Marketing for Masterworks shares his story and the innovative project he’s working on involving tokenizing securities, specifically artwork, on a blockchain.

Have you ever wondered what’s it must be like to own a Picasso or a Monet or an Andy Warhol painting? Up till now, only the wealthiest people in the world have been able to afford the kind of artworks created by the masters. But with blockchain technology taking the securities world by storm, all that’s about to change.

Masterworks is tokenizing artworks. So, if you’ve ever dreamed of owning a piece of history, a famous work of art or a painting by a worldwide renowned artist, then you can.RichardMcBeath_BlockCon2018

And as a fractional owner of a Monet, I won’t exactly be able to hang said artwork on my wall at home. I will, however, be able to access the high-end art market and invest in an asset class that’s only been available, up till now, to the ultra-wealthy.

So, what are the advantages of putting artwork on a blockchain? Richard talks to me about blockchain’s transparency being one of the attractive features. Also,  the ability to  increase market participation and mass adoption is exciting, because as high end as this market is, it’s record keeping is archaic. Ownership records are still mostly kept on paper.

Despite the fine art market being an investment choice for the uber riche, it’s been slow to change. Perhaps those with old money are not always open to new technologies.

Historically the art market is a $60 billion+ market in terms of its sales form the major action house, so there are advantages to being able to open it up to a broader market. Masterworks is applying for an SEC regulation A+ qualification in order to allow for both accredited and non-accredited investors to be able to own a piece of art in their collection.

Founder Scott Lynn is an internet entrepreneur whose businesses are valued at over a billion dollars and he has a personal knowledge of the art world, having acquired many high-end artworks for years,

Richard hails from Australia, but has also lived in England, Dubai and now Los Angeles and he talks about what it’s like to “shoot out the door with a one-way ticket”. He says fear can be a barrier but that there is a great expanse of opportunity, especially since the world is very different in various countries and communities around the world.