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How Bitcoin-based Verification Can Boost the Market for Digital Art

“It’s increasingly clear that a virtual currency is perhaps the most boring thing one could create with Bitcoin technology.”

That’s the assertion from Anil Dash, an entrepreneur and blogging pioneer, who recently outlined an interesting way to use a blockchain – as a verification system for ownership of digital images. Anil outlines his vision, and an early implementation, in A Bitcoin for Digital Art at Medium. He offers Bitcoin technology as a solution to the challenges of ownership of online photos, graphics and artwork.

“Various efforts have been made to assert forms of provenance and verification for digital art over the past few decades, but most relied on the artworks to remain within closed, proprietary technological silos; few were designed to verify a work while also allowing it to be widely displayed across the Internet,” Dash writes. “What the technology behind Bitcoin enables, in short, is the ability to track online trading of a digital object, without relying on any one central authority, by using the block chain as the ledger of transactions.”

Dash and Kevin McCoy developed monegraph,” an implementation of Namecoin that allows artists to create a “blockchain verified digital original” that can be claimed on Twitter.

“Monetized Graphics (or monegraph for short) is a way to verify that certain digital images are unique, and that they are owned by the person who says they own them,” they explain. “Monegraph allows artists and collectors of digital art to create and share valuable work without worrying about it being devalued when the image is copied.”

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