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  • Writer's pictureIsaac Dubuque

Artwork on the Chain

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

An Introduction to Physical Artwork on the Blockchain

In this guide, we'll discuss linking physical artwork to the blockchain and how this can be useful to an artist. The goal is to give you another tool in your toolbox. In your case, another paintbrush; one that is capable of digital strokes.

Blockchain, Artwork, Physical NFT

Artwork Linked to the Blockchain
A physical artwork linked to an NFT on the blockchain

The blockchain is a tool for creators. Like any tool, it is useful for accomplishing certain tasks, however, this doesn't mean it is applicable to everybody. The purpose of this is to familiarize you with a new tool that you can use or refer back to when you see fit. We'll cover the benefits that blockchain can bring to physical artwork. In following blogs, we'll cover the how-to methods for linking physical artwork to the blockchain.

In summary, you'll develop an understanding of a new tool for creators: blockchain linking.


Why use blockchain linking?

With any tool, the benefits are as limitless as your creativity. In particular, I've identified five core benefits:

  1. Authenticity and Provenance

  2. Digital Ownership

  3. Digital Experience

  4. Community Building

  5. Resale Royalties

Authenticity and Provenance

What does authenticity and provenance mean for artwork? Authenticity is being able to verify the artwork is original, while provenance is being able to track the ownership history of the artwork over time. By linking your artwork to the blockchain, it becomes a digital certificate of authenticity. Instead of an artist's signature on the artwork, it is a digital signature on the blockchain. If the artwork exchanges hands over time, the ownership changes are recorded on the blockchain. There is no way for the artwork to be counterfeited or provenance changed over time.

Physical NFT Guaranteed Authenticity
Physical NFT guaranteed authenticity

Digital Ownership

Digital ownership is a new concept revolutionized by the blockchain. Everybody understands physical ownership, however, digital ownership can be harder to understand. In our case, it is very easy to understand! The owner of the physical artwork owns the NFT linked to the artwork. With an NFT, the owner can display their verified ownership of the artwork on social media (Twitter, Instagram, etc). The owner can share their artwork collection in online communities. In turn, your artwork reaches a global audience and can be appreciated by many.

Physical NFT bridges the physical and digital
Physical NFT bridges the physical and digital

Digital Experience

The NFT could be a digital replica of the artwork as a high resolution image, a rendering of the artwork, or more. The digital dimension unlocks another dimension of creativity. You could show the creation process with a timelapse, or tell a story with a digital animation. With augmented reality, your artwork can come to life. Let the creative juices flow!

Physical NFT augmented reality digital experience
Physical NFT with augmented reality digital experience

Community Building

Your NFT opens a channel of communication with your collectors and loyal customers. Create a community through social integrations and offer perks to your loyal collectors. For example, if you are creating a new artwork, offer your current NFT holders early access to the purchase or a loyalty discount.

Building a collector's community with NFTs
Building a collector's community with NFTs

Resale Royalties

Resale royalties allow the creator to continually benefit from the transactions of their creations. With NFT transactions, resale royalties can be enforced, so that a cut of the secondary sale price is returned to the original creator. Resale royalties for physical transactions are being researched and there are expected to be ways to enforce resale royalties on in-person secondary sale prices in the near future.

Resale royalties enforced through NFTs
Resale royalties enforced through NFTs


If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! If you're interested in blockchain linking, check out Verilink or directly email to get started. Stay tuned for future blog posts around blockchain linking and the use cases of blockchain for artists and creators.


All artwork shown in this blog are originals by Michael Carini, a San Diego artist with expertise in blockchain linking. Both of these pieces are available for purchase at the Adelman Fine Art Gallery (at the time of this writing). Thanks Michael for allowing us to share your work! :)

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