Culture on the Blockchain

Transparency, decentralization, and accountability: these are all affordances of the blockchain, the distributed public ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies like BitCoin. While much discussion around the blockchain focuses on its implications on financial systems, technologists and policy makers are starting to consider how it might be applied to other uses—whether registering property titles in countries with land-rights issues or self-executing “smart contracts” that no one person controls. What could blockchain technology mean for the cultural sector? For artists and media makers, the blockchain offers new ways to commercialize digital art and protect intellectual property. Cultural institutions could use blockchain technology to create a worldwide ledger of metadata about collection objects, tracking data like provenance in a way that is secure and verifiable. This presentation focuses on a technology still in its early stages of discovery and development, critically considering the potential and implications of the blockchain for cultural producers and GLAMs. Speaker(s) Session Leader : Desi Gonzalez, Manager of digital engagement, The Andy Warhol Museum MCN2016 Presenting Sponsor: Piction New Orleans, LA