Art for Bitcoin Gallery: Bitcoin in the World of Fine Arts


Cryptocurrencies are gradually entering our lives. They draw attention not only from traders and miners, but also from people of the arts. They write songs, film movies, and write books about cryptocurrencies. No wonder there is a project on cryptocurrencies and painting.

ForkLog contacted the project’s creator and designer Vitaly Udovenko to find out more about it.

FL: For how long have you been into blockchain and cryptocurrencies?

V. U.: I’ve been a designer for more than five years, and currently I’m a UX/UI designer for various online projects. Certainly, I’m interested in new technologies and their applicability in everyday life and business. I found out about blockchain not very long ago, still I’m sure the technology has a great future, just like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others.


FL: How did you come up with the idea of ArtForBitcoin.Gallery? Why did Bitcoin interest you?

V. U.: Most people use bitcoin as an investment tool. On the other hand, I was interested in how one could use it as a means of payment in real life, and in the world of fine arts in particular, where item value also depends on the demand. Additionally, I believe that if people have an option to buy material values for bitcoins, they would like to use it.

As for the ArtForBitcoin.Gallery goals, it’s mostly an informative art project and infographics comparing the latest known price for a painting converted into BTC at the rate of $710 (the price at the moment of the project’s creation.)

Initially, the project’s idea was about reflecting the price of the most expensive items in bitcoin equivalent. It looks visually cheaper when denominated in cryptocurrency rather than in USD.
For example, there’s the most expensive painting, Interchange by Willem de Kooning, which had been sold for upwards of $300 million at an auction this November. If we convert the amount in BTC, we’ll have around 428,535 BTC. I liked the contrast, so I decided to show it as a kind of a gallery for other paintings of this price segment.

There’s also a social experiment of a kind: there’s a QR code on the page to check out bitcoin’s potential. It was interesting to witness the result in action.


FL: Did it take long to put the idea to practice?

V. U.: It took me a few weeks to gather the materials and bring them to life using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. When creating the gallery, I came up with the idea of calculating the overall cost of the paintings. The number of coins is limited, therefore, one may purchase only a limited number of goods. Unfortunately, it transpired that there were too many most expensive paintings, so their cost has exceeded the entire scope of bitcoins, notwithstanding its growing price.

So I just collected all the paintings that are worth of nearly a half of all existing bitcoins, otherwise the page would have become very long, and you’d have to scroll it forever. And it would be called How Many Things Could You Buy with All Bitcoins?


FL: Why bitcoin, not blockchain?

V. U.: I don’t have an accurate answer right now as to how blockchain could be useful in this realm. It could be a kind of digital signatures providing the owner with a reliable proof of procurement. There could be some operations at the auction so that other participants would confirm that the painting has been transferred to a new owner, and so on. There are many nuances, so only time will tell.

On the contrary, bitcoin is applicable for procurement of physical items and remittances right now. It’s a new kind of money, as there are people willing to spend and accept bitcoins. The realm of art shouldn’t stand aside, there’s some potential therein as well.


FL: And the final question: do you have plans as to development and transformation of your project, or it’s in its final form?

V. U.: The future plans of Art for Bitcoin Gallery are about reflecting the prices for paintings depending on the current bitcoin price, which would seriously enhance the project’s informational value. We also plan a section of contemporary paintings, cooperation with offline galleries and online exchange platforms.

If the project attracts more people, I’ll be happy to continue its development. For now, it’s just some infographics connecting such enormous but different realms as bitcoin and the world of fine arts.

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