Art meets technology. In October 2019, the Value Manifesto art project was officially launched, presenting art objects that show their own value to art lovers. At trimplement, we have designed and developed the blockchain-based technology behind the artworks.
Value Manifesto is an interdisciplinary project, combining modern art and cutting edge technologies (like Blockchain and IoT). Artist Timo Niemeyer was looking for a partner to implement the technological side of his vision of a crypto multiple, a series of identical art objects. Their unique feature: Each of those art objects should display its own value in Swiss Francs in real time.
As partners responsible for the technical execution of this idea, we developed a token on the Ethereum blockchain and a corresponding trading platform. But before we wrote a single line of code, we had to get familiar with the whole vision behind the project.
Value Manifesto started in 2017, with artist Timo Niemeyer and an ambitious goal: Establishing a whole new category in arts, selling artworks while bypassing the traditional art market.
But what does Value Manifesto define to be the actual artwork? The Value Manifesto art objects are called “crypto multiples”. They unite art, craftsmanship and technology in a beautiful way. Every single one of the 250 nixie tube devices is linked to a dedicated unique token, stored on the Ethereum Blockchain. The tubes display the current market value of this limited artwork at any given time.
Like any valuable scarce resource on this planet, the Value Manifesto crypto multiples are also limited to 250 pieces. Value Manifesto extrapolates the commercial and economical aspects of art as a whole and declares the art object’s value itself to be art.
More details about the artistic concept behind Value Manifesto can be found on the project’s site: https://www.valuemanifesto.ch/
We at trimplement are always on the lookout for new innovative projects. If a product idea is convincing and exciting enough, we sometimes decide to help develop it into a real product by providing our technological expertise.
Value Manifesto was such a project. Through his professional network Timo Niemeyer found trimplement. After a few initial calls, we finally met him in person in Cologne, Germany and discussed his idea. Matthias Gall, Thijs Reus and Natallia Martchouk, the 3 co-founders of trimplement, were fascinated by the Value Manifesto concept and about the prospect of contributing to such a modern and multifaceted project.
Developing the Value Manifesto solution took several months. Not only the software part, but also the legal part turned out to be complex – recommendations from our lawyers resulted in actual adaptations that we had to make to the software in order to comply with regulatory requirements.
This was necessary: Trading art objects as Ethereum tokens comes with specific challenges, especially in regards to security, customer identification and the token transfer flow.
Once plugged in at its destination and configured in the customer service area, the Value Manifesto tubes will sync up with the platform, continuously showing the current highest bid on the auction platform. This is the value of the crypto multiple. If one day it is high enough to convince an owner to sell it, they simply login into the Value Manifesto platform again and accept the highest bid. That’s it.
The token VME / Value Manifesto Edition is implemented on the Ethereum blockchain. Token handling (e.g. issue, transfer to the new owner) happens in the corresponding smart contract. It is deployed under a specific Ethereum address.
There, an owner can have a look at the token itself and verify that there is a total limited number of 250 editions as total supply.
When signing up for an account at the Value Manifesto auction platform, the platform also automatically creates an Ethereum address and assigns it to a customer’s personal account. The token associated with the Value Manifesto edition bought will then be moved to the buyer’s Ethereum address. Interested parties can track the ownership of the token on the public Ethereum explorer as well: https://etherscan.io/
The auction platform is the core component of the Value Manifesto system. It’s responsible for the:
Whenever the highest bid on the auction platform changes, an event is sent to the particle cloud, an IoT application that is responsible for the communication with nixie tubes. All devices are notified about the price change and immediately display the currently highest bid. The payment processing part (moving money between the buyer and seller) is handled manually / outside of the platform in the MVP.
The Value Manifesto joint venture has been a unique professional experience for us. Yet, we also realize that, in this very case, turning an artistic vision into a functioning Ethereum blockchain product was not that different from our former work in the fields of fintech, crypto or payment.
And there is more to come, too. We keep improving on the feature set of the Value Manifesto platform. For example, at a later stage we will likely automate the payment processing on the platform further.
Until then, we look at the nixie tubes standing in our office and enjoy its clean, simple expression. And if you, dear reader, are a technophiliac or an art lover, too, just go to the Value Manifesto website and sign up for a user account. Happy bidding!
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