Swisscom a primary telecommunications service provider in Switzerland announced that the company had launched a service on its Swisscom Television Network that would distribute tokenized digital artwork.
The company has launched the service on their Television network through the NOOW App, the app right now features around 100 artworks by 30 notable artists and plan to introduce more artworks, as the service expands.
NOOW app is developed in participation with the Swiss startup Dloop, and the app allows customers to buy original works of art in the form of certified copies and also issues them a certificate of authenticity, the app also gives them the right to own the artwork’s source file and resell it. The person responsible for choosing these artworks Stefanie Marlene Wenger, explained the vision for the app, she stated in the press release:
This is about more than creating a virtual gallery; the next step will be to include curated exhibitions on the platform and a close collaboration with galleries
The press release claims that digitalization of art has made it easy for counterfeit art to penetrate the market, and significant art pieces are being copied without any loss in the quality. NOOW app counters this problem with issuing a limited number of copies for the art piece, and each copy is traceable over a blockchain network, thus ensuring its authenticity. The person who buys the digital copy, not only has rights to display the art; they also have the right to resell the art. The solution by Dloop not only makes the art authentic but also affordable. The press release states that:
Since digitalization, digital art has been copied without any loss of quality. There was no such thing as an original value anymore. With NOOW, however, the owner receives a certificate of authenticity and knows how many copies of work exist.
The announcement has also excited the art world with many artists supporting the initiative taken by the Swiss conglomerate. The distribution advantages of the new app have received a lot of praise, Basel artist John Baumann stated while praising the app:
NOOW helps me to bring art to the screen. It also offers new creative opportunities to experiment with animated images and offer them to a wider audience.
Dloop, the Company behind the App
The app was developed by Dloop AG a Swiss startup that spun off from Swisscom itself. Swisscom runs an international Innovation program “kickbox,” in which Swisscom employees contribute their ideas and work on these ideas to create sustainable businesses. Dloop AG emerged from one of the batches of this initiative. The app created by Dloop uses smart contracts, based on Ethereum blockchain to track and certify every copy of the artwork. Through Ethereum blockchain, the art can be easily transferred from one owner to another in case of a resale. Tom Rieder, the CEO of Dloop, said about their partnership with Swisscom:
Swisscom TV is one of the first providers worldwide to offer art on the television screen. We are pleased that we were able to win Swisscom for this courageous project. NOOW makes digital art a collector’s item and thus creates value.
Blockchain in the Art world:
This is not the first time blockchain technology has been used to track art pieces, just last year American Art Auction company Paddle8 which auctions art pieces online, partnered up with The Native, a Swiss tech company to launch a blockchain based authentication service for artworks. The information sold by each artwork by Paddle8 is stored on bitcoin blockchain.
The service reportedly generates a digital certificate for every artwork that comes into the Paddel8 databases, and the information then gets continuously encoded onto the bitcoin blockchain. The blockchain directory is also linked to museum catalogs and specific literature with reference to the artwork. Every artwork sold by the company comes with a digital certificate, which gives the buyer access to all its previous records and owner information in real time. Tyler Winklevoss, the CEO of the crypto company Gemini, has been a long-term advisor on this project, he says that once the change has been made on the certificate, it cannot be altered unless the change is made public to the whole blockchain making it a very safe way of authenticating the art work’s legitimacy. He said in a press release that:
We are seeing its application to the art market, which is notoriously opaque, as the tip of the iceberg in terms of democratization and upending the status quo