Blockchain + Museums — Story of Clashes or Lasting Love?

A tokenized version of La Joconde

Almost one year after my article giving the state of blockchain and museums, I now wonder if we faced a two-world clash or love?

> How a centralised institution can start talking about decentralisation?

The end of the ‘Blockchain+Museums’ meetup in February highlighted the realities of museums today:

Blockchain is too far ahead from Museums.

Some museums are still working on the digitalisation of their collection, finding a framework to avoid data trash and create sustainable ways to open up their collections using APIs and open licences; But some others are actually still having a hard time making their hierarchy understand the digital transformation and the need of it. The chain of command is still quite heavy in most of the museums and the differences in mindset, culture and goals create group conflicts.

Blockchain is definitely not on the museums’ menu right now, but its culture could be.

So, how the culture of Blockchain can inspire museums?

> Community and collaboration

Understanding the Blockchain philosophy means appreciating a society working on a collaborative model. Wikipedia has given us new ways of seeing content resources and references; Blockchain will give us frames for a society with more security, transparency and going away from ownership.

Museums are about people. Blockchain is by people.

But MUZA is not the only museums being allowing visitors to influence their programme of activities or exhibitions, people even wrote books about it. This is in the DNA of today’s museums to be able to listen carefully and to accept this permeability.

> Meaning, trust and new sources of revenues

Today, one of the best use cases of Blockchain for museums is the democratisation of art patronage. Projects like “my Tretyakov”, a blockchain-based art-patronage app by the Austrian company RIDDLE&CODE for the Tretyakov Gallery in Russia, offer visitors a safe and transparent way to make donations and become patrons of famous works of art.

Blockchain can affect the key business model of museum ticketing.

However, museums are still today these trustworthy places and, even if some people are still reluctant to give money without seeing exactly how it is being used, most of the visitors give to the museum without questioning it for decades. Good or bad, I am not here to judge, but the fact is that micro-patronage exists and works already in the museum industry via crowdfunding campaigns like the very successful ones by the Louvre Museum “Tous Mécènes” or by adding one euro to the museum ticket when buying it (the Rodin Museum got 30 000€ extra with its campaign “1 Euro For 1 Rodin” in 2014)

Will Blockchain be the next trustworthy source to go and appreciate museums? (riddle&code)

Blockchain is a network of trust at its core thanks to its system based on authenticity certificate and smart contracts.

So what do you think? Do we approach the love story or we should better forget about it now?



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Diane Drubay

Diane Drubay

Founder of @wearemuseums. Co-founder of @alterhen. Arts & Culture for the Tezos ecosystem. Visual artist nudging for nature awareness.