Art Market

NFTs and the Art Exchange. In conversation with Francesca Casiraghi.

By Francesca Casiraghi
June 06, 2021 10:25am
Francesca Casiraghi - Art Exchange

As we continue our spotlight series and being ever keen to feature interesting and thought-provoking partners, clients and figureheads within the industry, we sat down with London Trade Art’s CEO, Francesca Casiraghi, to discuss the future of fractional art investment, NFTs and the Art Exchange.

London Art Trade (LTArt) was founded in 2016 with the aim of offering a diversified art investment service, both online and offline, which could meet the expectations of a new generation of art collectors, and eventually, democratise the art market by reaching a wider audience. In particular, they aim to achieve this through a platform called the Art Exchange. Similar to the stock market, Art Exchange will enable everyone to become a co-owner of high-valued artworks, simply by investing in shares of them according to budget, rather than purchasing them outright. By applying state-of-the-art technologies, such as blockchain and NFTs, their aim is to reduce the technological gap which keeps the art market anchored to traditional trading systems. 

Keen to understand more, we asked Francesca what we can expect from LTArt over the next twelve months how the Art Exchange utilises NFT’s to trade art shares. First up;

What was the inspiration behind developing the Art Exchange?

Combining our expertise in both the art and financial markets both myself and my co-founder, Andrea Seminara, decided to establish LTArt on the assumption that the two industries evolved in a very similar way, with the only difference that the art market lagged behind when it came to technological advancements. LTArt is built on the firm belief that both the art and financial markets can be combined in an inventive and efficient way. 

Considering the increasing hype around online art sales, which amounted to $12.4 billion in 2020, and very recently the NFT investments (whose total value amounted to more than $250M in 2020), we strongly believe the art market is ready for a technological revolution which could finally fully remove existing inefficiencies and make it ultimately easier to invest in art.

How does the Art Exchange actually work?

Inspired by the finance industry, the Art Exchange is very similar to the stock market, in that it allows you to trade art shares and track the performance of your trades.

In terms of the process, we start by splitting the artwork into shares on a primary market (the Pooling Investment section of our website), which are then issued in the Art Exchange, which serves as a secondary market. Multiple users can then buy and sell the art shares. They will receive a digital certificate of co-ownership authenticating each purchase in the form of a unique and irreproducible NFT. The artwork will be stored by a guarantor, which will be LTArt for now (we will manage the artworks), when it is not on display. Each co-owner has the right to display the artwork for the amount of time equivalent to the number of shares owned (i.e. if a co-owner possesses 20% of the shares, then they will be able to hold the artwork for 20% of the year, should they wish to do so) when applicable and if the conservation and maintenance of the work allow it. When the artwork is not held by any of the co-owners, we will then circulate it in the art market, leasing it to galleries and museums as well as organising temporary exhibitions, creating additional dividends for each co-owner and increasing their visibility. Our commitment, in fact, is to make them as usable as possible, eventually creating a permanent open exhibition of our portfolio of artworks. 

How can our clients use the Art Exchange if they’re interested?

In a few weeks’ time, users will be able to purchase the art shares of both physical and digital artworks through NFTs on our site, which they will later be able to trade in the Art Exchange. Currently, they can reserve these on under the Pooling Investment section, which serves as a primary market, on our Artworks page. 

Once they confirm the purchase of the shares, they will receive a digital certificate of co-ownership in the form of an NFT, which guarantees the authenticity and traceability of the trades. We are also thinking of implementing utilities, in order to engage our network of clients and provide them with additional benefits.

In the meantime, we are developing the secondary market, the Art Exchange, where users will be able to sell their shares and buy additional ones, whilst tracking the performance of their trades. Those who have purchased art shares from us in the primary market will automatically be enrolled in the Art Exchange once it is launched. 

What’s next for London Art Trade?

Our first priority is to launch the physical and digital Pooling Investment projects on our site, so that they can be purchased through NFTs. Currently, we already have one project that is live on our site: Lapo Simeoni’s ‘25.000 euro’. Users can already reserve NFTs for this project. 

Following this, we will also be selling a Blue Chip artwork through art shares, so do keep your eyes peeled for more information on this in the next month or so.

Finally, we aim to return to organising physical exhibitions and corporate events in the very near future. Considering the increasing success of the online art market and the new era of digital art, it’s a very exciting moment for projects like ours and we look forward to bringing the next steps of our fractional ownership project to life, in order to allow as many art lovers as possible to transform their passion into a smart Investment.

Require assistance with shipping, installing or storing your art? You can contact the expert team at [email protected] and we’d be happy to assist.

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