Dadiani Fine Art is spearheading a revolution in the art world, becoming the first gallery in Britain to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for works of art.
Buyers at the Cork Street gallery in the heart of Mayfair’s traditional art district will be able to use any of the six leading cryptocurrencies on the market: Bitcoin; Ethereum; Ethereum Classic; Ripple; Litecoin; and Dash. The gallery plans to accept more altcoins as they become more widely recognised.
Bringing cryptocurrencies to the British art market is the brainchild of Eleesa Dadiani, the gallery’s owner. Dadiani will also become the first gallery to develop its own cryptocurrency, DadiCoin (DDC), which will be launched soon.
Ms Dadiani believes introducing cryptocurrencies to the art world will have a significant impact far beyond her own industry. She hopes that encouraging traditional businesses to adapt to this new world of trade will give smaller, independent firms a better chance of surviving in a challenging economic climate when they are struggling to cope with higher business rates and other increasing costs.
Ms Dadiani said: “We are combining old world business ethics and practice with the new world of technology - the current system is becoming stale and needs to be disrupted. Cryptocurrencies will provide a bridge from the elitist, centralist fine art market to a decentralised open source world where many more will be able to become a part of this exhilarating market.
“This could be a turning point for the cryptocurrency market. For many years, it has been ridiculed but when traditional businesses, such as art galleries, take it seriously it is a sure sign that this is a very important technology that will change things as we know it.
“It will also open the market to a new type of buyer, people who regard cryptocurrency as more valuable and stable than traditional currencies. They will become part of an old money market, using new money”.
Cryptocurrency, first popularised in 2009 with the advent of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin, is a digital currency based on Blockchain technology. Encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and to verify the transfer of funds. Cryptocurrency operates independently of a central bank and is an open source, peer-to-peer decentralised technology available to anyone with access to the internet.
Cryptocurrencies - known as the Internet of money - have the potential to reduce costs in the fine art market because users are charged a flat fee for each transaction, regardless of how large it is. Payment is secure as each wallet has a unique API address.
Bitcoin and other leading cryptocurrencies will be accepted at Dadiani Fine Art’s ground-breaking new exhibition, ‘The Noise’, which opens on July 14, a tribute to the heyday of motor racing and the first of its kind ever to be staged. It features six unique sculptures made from the exhausts of Formula One cars and rare motor racing memorabilia. Each is a one-off because the Ferrari exhausts, made from Inconel alloy, can only be used in a single race. They are expected to sell for around £25,000-£30,000.
The sculptures evoke memories of motor racing’s glory days before the screaming V-8 engine was replaced by today’s quieter turbo-charged engines. The centrepiece is a gold-plated set from the Sauber-Ferrari driven by Kamui Kobayashi at the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix when he finished fifth in the iconic race. Another is a hand polished set, slightly damaged after Mexican driver Sergio Perez crashed his Sauber-Ferrari at Monaco in the same year. Each one has discolouration marks specific to the track on which it was raced, depending on the length of the straights and the frequency of bends.
‘The Noise’ harks back to a more romantic racing era characterised by noise, fear and danger - the pieces can be seen as a protest against today’s airbrushed motor racing. Mounted on an Italian Granite base, each one is around one metre tall and the epitome of engineering perfection.
They have been collected by Mike O’Connor, owner of Heritage F1, the only company in the UK to buy and sell F1 cars. Alongside the sculptures, the exhibition will also feature an array of evocative memorabilia, including beautiful hand-drawn blueprints of cars dating back to the 1970s, while a 2011 Sauber will be on display outside the gallery on the preview night on July 13.
Mike O’Connor said: “F1 cars are the pinnacle of engineering. Cost is no object in the design. The engineers are the best of the best and have created engineering perfection, just like a great artist creates great art. The story attached to each one is what makes them valuable - we are selling the history”.