Valence, a blockchain services company, has partnered with the Expo Chicago Art Fair to launch a new app called “Valence Wallet.”
“We’ve long recognized that there needs to be more efficient ways for all the actors in the art ecosystem to interact with each other,” Chris Vroom, co-founder of Valence, told ARTnews. “Technology is how we accomplish that.”
The app will launch in early April ahead of the tenth edition of the art fair, which is taking place from April 13th to 16th. The app will offer numerous services, allowing collectors to purchase works through the app, providing Certificates of Authenticity, and collecting insurance, shipping, and payment documents all in one place, with service providers like ARTA (an art shipping company) and Art Money (a payment layaway service for the art world) onboarded onto the app.
Vroom has founded multiple art-centric businesses, like ArtSpace, a digital marketplace for art, and CollectorIQ, a collection management application. He also founded the non-profit Artadia which gives grants to artists and curators.
After 20 years of working in the art world and developing technologies, Vroom wanted to find a way to consolidate all that goes into buying and selling art into one app.
“When we were developing the app we looked at the anecdotal data from galleries about all the services their collectors interact with and they tend to have to access these services in a disparate manner,” said Vroom. “So we really wanted to make the purchase flow and everything that comes after more beneficial to the galleries and collectors.”
Valence Wallet is still in its early stages. Vroom hopes to add more services, like collection management and appraisals, soon. As the app uses blockchain technology to track provenance and transactions, Vroom hopes that the technology will empower galleries and artists to benefit from the market they help create by getting royalties from the secondary market. Valence thus joins Fairchain, Arcual, and other blockchain-enabled start ups that are using web3 technology to service the art world.
Less than a year after the crypto markets collapsed, it’s interesting to see how this supposedly radical technology is being used to further existing business practices.
“That the hype around blockchain has subsided is very positive,” said Vroom. “Blockchain tech will be used in a variety of ways but the initial uses need to be logical extensions of existing business practices not this sci-fi vision of the art market where there aren’t any art galleries.”