The NFT space is growing, and Liechtenstein-based companies are on board. One reason for NFT-firms to do business out of Liechtenstein is legal security.
Non Fungible Tokens, or “NFTs,” have been the talk of the town for some time. The idea is to represent the right to a digital asset as a digital token. For example, an NFT could represent a piece of digital art or a digital representation of a real-world asset such as a stadium ticket.
So far, the most prominent use case for NFTs has been in digital arts. Anaida Schneider, a former banker, is among those promoting these kind of ownership structures. Her Liechtenstein-based company Artessere offers squares of paintings by Soviet artists.
Investors can buy a stake for 100 or 200 euros a piece in these paintings for a small fee. When Schneider sells the paintings at a profit, the investors get their share of the profits. She is giving herself ten years to resell them.
“Not everyone has $1 million to invest,” she said in an interview with the news page AFP. “So I came up with the idea to split, to make like a mutual fund but on the blockchain.”
That’s what NFTs are partly about: Making asset classes such as arts, which have so far had high barriers to entry, more accessible for investors with small pockets.
NFT artworks accounted for some $2.8 billion in sales last year, and the rate has declined only slightly in the first half of this year, according to analyst firm NonFungible.
That also means the NFT sector has generally fared better than the overall crypto sector this year, with Bitcoin losing more than 50 percent since its all-time high.
Collectors and artists are continuing to experiment with the technology. A fifth of 300 collectors surveyed by the website Art+Tech Report said they had already engaged in so-called fractional ownership.
An opportunity for museums
Museums are also getting engaged. 13 Italian museums recently signed deals with Cinello, a company selling limited edition digital reproductions, to offer ownership of digital replicas of artwork.
While the buyers of the artwork get a unique, blockchain-based digital copy which they project onto a screen and a certificate from the museum, the museum gets half the proceeds.
According to Cinello, it had already digitized more than 200 works and generated sales north of 296,000 euros in extra revenue for Italian museums.
Besides the promises of the technology, there are also legal concerns. A spokesman of the Italian culture ministry reportedly said NFTs are “complex and unregulated.” He also asked museums not to sign any new NFT-related contracts.
To avoid legal complications, Schneider owns the paintings she sells. For now, that seems to be the more secure route from a legal perspective.
Schneider also stresses that her project is protected by law in Liechtenstein. The country has issued the Blockchain Act, which aims to regulate legalities around blockchain technology and digital ownership.
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