First Blockchain Platform for Public to Invest in Iconic Works of Art

Andy Warhol, 1 Colored Marilyn (reversal series), 1979, oil and silkscreen inks on canvas, 18 1/4 x 13 3/4 in. (46.4 x 34.9 cm) (PRNewsfoto/Masterworks)

Masterworks launched the world’s first blockchain-based fine art investment platform that will allow anyone to invest in specific works of art. All offerings will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission with share ownership recorded on the Ethereum blockchain to provide transparency to investors.

For its inaugural offering, Masterworks plans to offer an investment in Andy Warhol’s 1 Colored Marilyn (Reversal Series), 1979. Purchased by the company in November 2017 at Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale for $1,815,000, investors will be able to invest in Warhol’s iconic 1 Colored Marilyn (Reversal Series) for as little as $1,000 USD.

Masterworks founder, collector and Internet entrepreneur Scott Lynn sees the blockchain as a way to democratize aspects of art collecting that have traditionally been made inaccessible due to the high barrier to entry. Lynn states, “Artwork made by some of the world’s most significant artists tends to appreciate at the highest rates, but very few people can access them due to the price point. Masterworks aims to make it possible for anyone to invest in this asset class by offering the opportunity to invest in artworks at an affordable entry point.”

According to a 2018 report by Art Basel & UBS, works sold for more than $1 million accounted for 64% by value in 2017, the highest level in three years, despite only accounting for 1% of all transactions. “These are the exact types of works that we are looking to add to our platform,” Lynn stated.