German Museum Exhibits the Art of Blockchain

first_img Blockchain’s decade-long journey has been a strange one, to say the least.A technology for decentralized, self-regulating data, blockchain allows information to be managed and organized without an intermediary—like a bank, government, or accountant.Despite a long discussion with my ultra tech-savvy fiancé and extensive Internet reading, I am still a bit unclear about the whole process. And I am not alone.Virtual game CryptoKitties and art tech startup Meural opened a joint exhibit at Germany’s ZKM Center for Art and Media to showcase “the inner workings of blockchain technology in real time.”Part of the museum’s ongoing “Open Codes” exhibition, the display—called “Bringing Blockchain to Life”—will present cartoon cats as digital artwork.When it was released in late November, surprise hit CryptoKitties overloaded open-source blockchain-based distributed computing platform Ethereum. In the nine months since, the game has conducted tens of millions of dollars in transactions.This so-called “game” (lovechild of the Tamagotchi and Beanie Baby) encourages people to hoard and trade computerized animals.Each cat is one-of-a-kind, and commands anywhere from six cents to six figures. Earlier this year, a CryptoKitty displayed at Christie’s Auction House sold for $140,000 (with proceeds funding the Foundation for Art & Blockchain).“You can buy, sell, or trade your CryptoKitty like it was a traditional collectible, secure in the knowledge that blockchain will track ownership securely,” the website said. “But, unlike traditional collectibles, you can breed two CryptoKitties to create a brand new, genetically unique offspring.”Co-founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou credits his title with “introducing entirely new audiences to the potential of blockchain technology.Its best known (but by no means only) application is the digital payment system Bitcoin, which cuts out the middleman to enable direct electronic cash transfers.The scheme relies on members of the general public to validate and timestamp transactions. Those transactions are then added as “blocks” to a cryptographically protected, unalterable chain (hence the name) and shared on a private (with restricted membership) or public network.“Our exhibit at ZKM continues our mission of demystifying the blockchain so that the people can benefit from it most—whether they’re creators and consumers, or artists and their fans—can be a part of the technology’s future,” Gharegozlou said.Odd bedfellows on paper, blockchain and art make a surprisingly good—if not utterly bizarre—pair.According to a recent report by Engadget, blockchain-based digital card game Gods Unchained recently sold a playing card worth $54,000 (at the time). A grainy photo of Elon Musk, meanwhile, is currently on auction for $40,450.And in June, art platform Maecenas began offering digital shares of Andy Warhol’s silkscreen “14 Small Electric Chairs.Last year, the Long Island Iced Tea Corp. rebranded itself, Long Blockchain Corp. More recently, two firms teamed up to map heritage sites on the Moon—using blockchain. And doAmazon’s Blockchain dreams compete with Oracle? Find out more here.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Master Blockchain With These Easy Online CoursesAtari Explains What ‘RollerCoaster Tycoon’ On Blockchain Even Means last_img

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