A Shifting Picture

“The online art market is estimated to be valued at $9.14 billion by 2021. If traditional sellers embrace technology faster than at present, this could grow further.”
Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2017

Yet, regardless of how people buy, a crucial element is missing: certainty.

Without confermation of authenticity, history and potential returns, an artwork can represent a risk fewer buyers will take. Fewer investments translate into fewer movements, decreasing the market’s opportunities and fluidity. It is a vicious circle.

The implications of this are far-reaching for everyone. While art should be for everyone, only the financially stable and those willing to accept risk have genuine access.

As the internet plays a more important role in people’s buying habits, it is our goal to ensure the security and certainty provided by blockchain technology are also present in the art world, unleashing further benefits for everyone in the market.

Art is an asset class worth approximately $60bn in revenue each year


Mainly distributed across Europe (53%), North America (37%) and Asia (10%)

Highest transaction volumes found in Europe ($14.6bn) and Asia ($10bn)

Around 38m transactions (average price of approximately $2,000) taking place each year

Today’s art world is changing. Overall sales decreased by 11% in 2016, with over 40,000 professionals investing less in a supply-driven market for the second consecutive year. Yet, it remains in good health.

This is largely thanks to its participants’ profile evolution. Traditional outlets are increasingly turning to alternative channels like the internet and social media, helping them reach new clients and transact internationally. Indeed, of Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Heritage’s combined $720m sales in 2016, 19% took place online.

Factor in the increase of gallery and private collector volumes by 20% in 2016, and it is clear to see the art landscape is shifting.

We use the latest industry reports to keep up to date with market forecasts and developments. Below are some of the key reference points on which our view of the art world is based.

A barometer for the art and finance industry, this issue examines art’s place in a prosperous wealth management portfolio.

A compilation of the previous four years-worth of findings. It focuses on the shift from art investment to issues surrounding art-related wealth.
Examining the transformation of established names into multimedia brands, and the continued struggle of dealers online. How social media is influencing the art world.

Looking at the global state of the art market in 2016. Contrasting the fortunes of dealers and galleries, as well as a look at the countries accelerating in growth and changing trends.

The evolution of art into a truly global market, with a more diverse ownership base than ever. How the prevalence of art fairs has accelerated this growth and helped boost sales.

Art’s journey to become a genuine investment channel, and how globalisation of the market has driven growth against an uncertain financial backdrop.

How high net worth individuals are seeking ‘treasure assets’, including art. Examining the motivations behind this, and their context individual wealth.