Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde famously stated that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” however, the rise of the digital world has complicated this sentiment for artists. The prevalence of fraudulent activity in the digital age has sparked worry among artists. Imagine having an audience in the billions, yet each one with the potential to steal it and use for their own benefit. Art collectors, by extension, bear the brunt of this predicament.
With an increasing number of allegations of digital art theft globally, Likha, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace run by tech firm BayaniChain, provides a mechanism for artists to protect their intellectual property while also authenticating their artworks.
Through its platform LikhaCert, Likha incorporates blockchain technology to deliver a tamper-proof and permanent Certificate of Authenticity (COA), ensuring the artworks’ credibility.
“The challenge of moving from Web2 to Web3 is difficult, which is why we aim to bridge that gap by creating a connection between physical items and digital assets, so we created LikhaCert. This cutting-edge blockchain technology will strive to address the widespread problem of COA fraud in the art industry, which is already occurring not only in the Philippines, but also globally, and to preserve the artist’s legacy by certifying their artwork and ensuring its validity for generations to come,” said Gelo Wong, co-founder and CEO of Likha.
Integrating physical and digital aspects
During the recent Apl.de.Ap X Bitto Phygital Art Launch, which was co-presented by GCash’s in-app crypto platform GCrypto and art gallery Vinyl on Vinyl, Likha created a unique experience that integrates the physical and digital—hence, “phygital”—aspects of art creation and collection in a single event.
These Apl.de.ap x Bitto phygital art sculptures include a digital asset counterpart which also function as the artwork’s certificate of authenticity.
When a physical Apl.de.Ap X Bitto artwork is purchased, Likha utilizes blockchain technology to airdrop its corresponding digital asset or NFT to the buyer’s account, which serves as its COA and protects it from art theft. NFTs indicate ownership of a digital item, allowing users to own and trade unique digital objects.
“Agents of Peace and Love” is a phygital art collection created in collaboration with Black Eyed Peas singer Apl.de.Ap and Filipino artist Bitto. It features vibrant and colorful pieces, including silkscreen prints, sculptures, custom sculptures, and paintings, inspired by Apl.de.Ap’s influence on the music scene and Bitto’s distinct contemporary art style.
Bitto and Apl.de.ap take the stage and discuss how they conceptualize their first phygital art collaboration.
“It’s interesting to go phygital because most of the people only talk about NFTs,” Bitto said. “But to have something that you can feel or see physically, that builds the confidence of the person who wants to buy NFTs.”
Revolutionizing the art industry and beyond
Likha’s partnership with GCash plays a vital role in the successful Apl.de.Ap X Bitto Phygital Art Launch, as both organizations strive to make NFTs and phygital art easily accessible to the Filipino community. This collaboration seeks not only to create a one-of-a-kind digital collection that offers an exciting, distinctive, and seamless phygital experience for millions of GCash users, but also to introduce them to the Likha marketplace.
“By teaming up with GCash, Likha is set to revolutionize the art industry, providing artists, collectors, and the 81 million GCash users with limitless possibilities to enjoy a seamless phygital experience through digital assets by offering a tamper-proof security, giving them the confidence to protect their assets in the physical world. We are committed to expanding our partnership with GCash to further advance this project,” said Wong.
True to its advocacy of accelerating decentralization and digital asset adoption, BayaniChain and its group of companies intend to partner with more enterprises in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, as well as contribute to nation-building by introducing proofs of concepts and initiatives for future collaborations with the public sector.
As with LikhaCert and how it bridges Web2 to Web3 in the realm of art, BayaniChain will continue to help increase Filipinos’ understanding and acceptance of blockchain technology in everyday life in its mission to create a future that opens opportunities for all. More information is available at <https://bayanichain.io/>.