DUBAI, The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Dubai Culture, has launched its blockchain-powered digital bank for art, ArtBank, which is the first platform of its kind in the world using cryptocurrency to facilitate trading in artworks and establish Dubai as a global centre for the arts.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, as well as Chairman of DFF's Board of Trustees, launched the bold plan, among a bundle of avant-garde proposals for Dubai 10X, at the 6th World Government Summit held in Dubai in February 2018.

The Dubai 10X initiative seeks to place Dubai governmental agencies 10 years ahead of the rest of the world in all sectors. Hence, Sheikh Hamdan adopted 26 projects presented by 24 government departments. The shortlisted projects were evaluated by a panel of experts out of a total of more than 160 ideas submitted by 36 parties in less than 365 days.

Regarding the proposals, Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director-General of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said, "We wanted to step into the art technology realm, where art meets tech, and we soon realised that finance and fin-tech needed to be included, too. With ArtBank, we are effectively launching the world's first digital cryptocurrency for creativity. There are many lost opportunities within the local art economy, especially considering that artists lack exposure and policies to share creativity due to an opaque and often elitist art market. The art industry is very centralised with the wealthy.

"ArtBank will transform Dubai into a 21st-century city for the digital age. The platform will launch the world's first digital currency for creativity, which will grow in value over time and strengthen the Dubai economy as the ecosystem grows. Over time, ArtBank will include a database of global and regional art, where artificial intelligence will help users navigate and interact. Several partnerships are set to arise in the implementation phase, including with renowned banks, investment firms, and smart solutions providers."

ArtBank is set to positively impact the sector, boosting creativity and placing special focus on digital art in an effort to establish a clear monetisation model for all digital artists to be able to grow through their talent. The platform will bring together a peer-to-peer network of creative talents who can monetise their creativity through a digital portal that will focus on both emerging talent and established artists.

Source: Emirates News Agency