Sygnum Bank tokenizes a Picasso artwork on the blockchain in challenge to NFT

Karthik Subramanian

Sygnum Bank, which offers digital and regulated banking for DeFi assets and tokens, has announced that it has partnered with Artemundi to tokenized Picasso’s Fillete Au béret painting.

This is a radical new addition to the blockchain ecosystem with the introduction of what is called Art Security Tokens (ASTs) which are tokens that can be purchased and traded like shares and they mark ownership to artwork and it is broadcast onto the blockchain. This works differently from NFTs in this way and it remains to be seen whether ASTs and NFTs can co-exist in the blockchain artwork industry.

Mathias Imbach, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Sygnum Bank, says, “It has been Sygnum’s mission from the start to empower investors with more direct access to ownership and value. The tokenization of the Fillette au béret exemplifies how we bring our mission to reality, unlocking a universe of unique investment opportunities that can be made accessible to many.”

The painting is valued at 4 million banks and retail and institutional investors would be able to buy ownership of the painting by subscribing to the tokens exclusively through the Sygnum Bank through its e-banking platform and the minimum subscription is 5000 francs. The tokens can be traded on SygnEx which is a digital exchange launched by the bank and the bank also have a CHF stablecoin which can be used for the purchase of the tokens.

The bank believes that the tokenization of the artwork on the blockchain would help to open up the artwork market to a much larger network of users and democratize the whole process. This would also help to connect the buyers and sellers directly without the need for intermediaries and this would help to save costs as well.

This development marks an interesting period for the artwork market which has been an exclusive domain of large investors for many decades. It was ripe for being opened up so that more users would be able to gain access to precious artwork but the fact that blockchain has been the medium that has made it possible would be a surprise to many. Blockchain was connected to the finance industry a lot more than the artwork industry and it is indeed an innovative approach to tokenize the artwork industry and make it accessible for all and the fact that it is being done by a FINMA regulated financial institution would only help to bring in more trust into this new approach.

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