On Thursday, 8 November, Maecenas Founder and CEO Marcelo Garcia Casil was invited to a Telegram “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session with the Ethfinex community. Community members posed a raft of interesting questions and the conversation lasted for nearly an hour.
We were impressed by the level of knowledge and engagement shown by those who posed questions, many of which offered the opportunity for Marcelo to explain in greater detail some of the features that distinguish Maecenas and our plans for the future.
Here are some of the highlights.
From banking to fine art: Our Story So Far
At the start of the session, the moderator asked about the inspiration behind Maecenas and the path that brought it to where it is now. In 2014,
“given my more than ten years’ experience in banking, I realised that blockchain could be applied to other types of assets,”
says Marcelo, who soon discovered that the fine art market was ripe for just this kind of technological innovation.
In response to a follow-up question on what the largest sum was that Maecenas had received for a piece of art on its website, Marcelo noted that 30+% of an Andy Warhol painting was successfully tokenized and sold for $1.7 million in the summer of 2018. This represents the first successful sale of a major tokenized artwork and confirms the strength of using blockchain in the fine art space.
Enjoy, invest and innovate: Art as a (Digital) Asset Class
Many people posed questions related to exactly where Maecenas sits within the broader art market and if there were limits to the types of art we tokenize. While Maecenas is focused on works of fine art - Warhol, Picasso, Monet for example - the company’s goal is fundamentally
to make art enjoyable and bring it closer to people through technology, “to be able to share it and show it off to their friends and family” in Marcelo’s words. To that point, he mentioned that Maecenas will soon make an exciting announcement related to the tokenization of digital art.
The nature of fractional ownership of art also arose, with questions around the ability of a majority owner to buy out minority stakeholders. Suffice it to say, the debate in the community may not be totally settled. Maecenas is committed to finding the optimal structure for tokenized art assets - which is why each artwork has its own unique smart contract to reflect the best interests of the owners.
ART utility: Token economics
Marcelo also teased a major improvement to ART’s token economics. Without revealing things prematurely, he stated “that there are further utilities which will be added to the token- based on partnerships we've been working on for the several last few months, which will see ART play roles in other art-related platforms, not as a payment token but rather as a staking mechanism.”
Towards democratisation of fine art: Future Roadmap
Naturally, a number of questions focused on plans for the future, with participants eager in particular to learn about Maecenas’s planned tokenised artworks exchange. Marcelo replied that this is scheduled to be live by the end of Q1. When it is, and combined with our enhanced tokenomics, it will represent another major step toward the true democratisation of fine art.
Finally, Maecenas continues to expand its network of partnerships, a point that arose toward the end of the AMA. Specifically, three partnerships that recently closed will be announced in the upcoming weeks, all of them with companies whose tokens are in the top 50 by market cap. An additional partnership has been agreed with a well-known figure in the crypto space, although full details cannot yet be disclosed. In Marcelo’s words, these will be
“tight collaborations which we think are strategic for the growth of the ART token ecosystem.”
We thank everyone who participated in the AMA and invite you to continue to support and guide Maecenas by joining our Telegram. Please also stay tuned to this Medium channel for frequent updates and news.