Bank offers shares in Picasso paintings via blockchain

Mith the help of blockchain technology, a Swiss bank enables investors to buy shares in a Picasso painting. From CHF 5,000, professional investors could purchase a fraction of the work of art “Fillette au beret”, as the Sygnum Bank, which specializes in digital assets, and the art investment company Artemundi announced on Thursday. It is the first time that ownership of a Picasso or other work of art has been transferred from a regulated bank to the public blockchain so that investors can trade shares.

The picture painted in 1964 with a value of four million francs shows the bust of a girl and is being kept in a special warehouse. The image is securitized as a security via the so-called tokenization. After subscribing to the shares, investors could trade them on a Sygnum platform. This would eliminate middlemen. The denomination gives a broader group of customers access to an expensive work of art. Pictures by Picasso, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, have so far continuously gained in value.

Via the blockchain, a decentralized database in which all transactions are encrypted and stored in a forgery-proof manner, transactions can be carried out without banks or other intermediaries and property rights can be protected. Proponents of the technology assume that at some point everything – from concert tickets to homes – will be stored on a blockchain. Sygnum is working on further investment opportunities in the areas of art, collectibles, venture capital and real estate.



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