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Entangled Art Provenance

I wish to address the primary concerns of art provenance in a simple and low-cost method which works for artists, owners and gallery goers — all concerned really. The following method might even allow for artists to continue collecting royalties on their work after it leaves their hands! Read on.

The primary concerns of provenance in art are establishing:

Production, creation, or discovery circumstances and legitimacy Establishing history of ownership, custody and places of storage Establishing moral and legal validity of chain of custody

Provenance done right can go a long way towards destroying black markets for forgeries and thefts and can help the rightful owners or families thereof reclaim ownership of artwork or other precious items taken by force. Provenance of art, antiquities, wine and other items of high value is clearly important. A clean provenance can sometimes increase an object’s sale price by an order of magnitude.

The question then is how to do provenance right?

Other blockchain models exist for storing data and therefore provenance, immutably. However, with quantum computing and artificial intelligence technologies in their adolescence, blockchain may not be immune for much longer. This is why the quantum-resistance of IOTA is of interest here. You can read more about this particular property of IOTA here (

My original treatment of this subject proposed to use a method of two-factor authentication that would validate the artwork from two different sources (the artist and the owner), but this proposal fails when closely examined, because there is nothing immutable that links the artwork to its record in the tangle; there is no QR code that cannot be removed from the artwork or cannot itself be forged. For one motivated enough — and millions of dollars is quite the motivator — forging a work of art, its history and two sources of aut...

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