Ascribe Is Giving Away Artwork Recorded In Bitcoin’s Blockchain / Mario Cotillard / 4 September 2015

Ascribe was started last year by three co-founders with backgrounds in art, technology, and finance. Bruce Pon, the company’s CEO, has invested in numerous fintech startups and worked for several consulting firms; Trent McConaghy Ph.D, the company’s CTO and lead machine learning architect, previously founded several AI startups; and Maria McConaghy Ph.D, who has worked for several museums, including as a curatorial assistant for the Louvre in Paris, France.

“We believe simplifying and streamlining the user interface for copyright management will be the driver behind an unprecedented explosion of creativity on the Internet. The more artists feel that they can safely show, sell and license their work without fear of having their work taken, the more they will produce. And we’ll all be a little better off because of it,” wrote Ascribe Director of Marketing Mike Klein.

To showcase the Berlin tech startup’s digital copyright and verification system, limited edition pictures that combine everyday settings with abstract design are being given away.

Those who receive the digital artwork will be able to prove that the copy is an original, by comparing a cryptographic hash of the picture with a correspondent one on the Bitcoin blockchain. If they match, people can be assured it is one of the limited edition proofs.

“Essentially, the process mirrors the way in which the art world has traditionally established value through ‘originality’, which up until now has been problematic in the digital space,” wrote Bill Murray, the editor of The Space.