What's happened in the art market since the 2022 crypto crash?

What's happened in the art market since the 2022 crypto crash?

A panel at The Art Business Conference London offered a broad view on digital advance and its relationship to the Artworld in the post-crash era

By Riah Pryor

A panel of leading voices on digital advance led discussion in Westminster earlier this month, as part of the annual The Art Business Conference. Moderated by the respected arts journalist and broadcaster, Jane Morris, the wide-ranging conversation on ‘Web3 infrastructure’ orbited around a fundamental question: what has happened since the cryptocurrency collapse of 2022?

“We’re seeing completely new projects that just wouldn't have been enabled by anything other than blockchain technology,” said Valérie Whitacre, Head of Art Trilitech. “For example, poetry estates - why on earth have we never been able to collect a poem? Why have we never been able to collect a choreographed dance to a piece of music that's customized for a dancer? or a ballerina or an orchestra?”

This consideration of technology as a means to enable ownership and drive business was echoed by Racheal Muldoon, of Maitland Chambers: “I think the key for me is that in the past year there's been less focus from my clients on the digital assets themselves and more focus on operationally shifting business by using distributed ledger technology, i.e. blockchain technology to record business transactions.”

The idea of being able to explore what a collectible ‘is’, and what a digital asset could be, seemingly offers the opportunity for technology to answer questions which have long lingered on the art market, notably since Land Art gained traction.

Appraisal Bureau’s Founder, Caroline Taylor similarly highlighted the opportunity of contemporary innovation to solve (or at least ease) historic challenges, particularly through the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. In regards to the company's NFT business, she stated “We remain busy as our work on the NFT side generally originates for the purposes of financial reporting and insurance, which is fundamental, and in some cases mandatory.”

Nevertheless, while panelists were in consensus that there is still a sizable crypto market, despite the 2022 crash, all highlighted significant shifts in the regulatory and litigation landscape. With governments around the world expecting digital environments to become major drivers of business over the next few years, this has been adjoined by increased interest in how best to monitor risk, with particular note made on the panel, of the European Commission’s recently published strategy on Web3 and Web4.

Web3 infrastructure included: Caroline Taylor (Appraisal Bureau), Valérie Whitacre (Trilitech), Lee Cavaliere (Volta), and Racheal Muldoon (Maitland Chambers), and was moderated by Jane Morris (Arts Journalist and Broadcaster). You can learn more here, at The Art Business Conference.