$49 000 000
$48 277 157
Codex isn’t the first to see the benefits of blockchain in the art world. Verisart is a Los Angeles-based startup founded by the former CEO of Saatchi Online and Sedition Art, that launched in 2015. Verisart’s mobile app uses the bitcoin blockchain to let artists, collectors and dealers verify provenance in real time. Artchain.info is another startup using blockchain to generate certificates of authenticity. In this field, it is also worth noticing Everledger, Ascribe, Blockai, and Monegraph. The further steps of product development(i.e. after launching Biddable and Sellable) are not clear from WP.
It is not clear how the registration of A&C items with history of ownership will be conducted. Even though the team explains how they will address the risk of linking physical items to digital records, this question still has to be considered.
It is worth noticing that the company will issue two tokens: one is ERC-20 compliant and the second is ERC720-compliant i.e. the second token is non-fungible. Now, there is no information regarding hard/soft cap, expenses distribution, etc.
The team has strong experience in all relevant fields for the project development. Previously, CEO of Codex founded and sold a marketplace for fine art & antiques that still operates and has 240K visits, according to SimilarWeb. Other team members worked previously at Sotheby's bidding venue and Microsoft. The team also has advisors from relevant fields: cryptocurrencies, arts & collectibles, and consumer internet.
Advantages.1. Projects is related to auctions for luxury assets. The project has won a number of international awards.2. A strong project to join with a prominent auction company. The roadmap is fast. The rate at which ecosystems are constructed is also fast.3. It is backed by strong institutional investors including Pantera Capital.A complementary point1. No concrete token matrix was found.2. There is not much hype compared to the other excellent projects of Pantera Capital.
The project has the following strengths:
A well-explained product featuring a verification mechanism
An experienced team, strong advisors and notable investors
Partnership with A&C industry participants representing more than 5000 auction houses
Launched betas of dApps
Platform release is expected July 2018
No direct competitors
The smart contract has been audited by Hosho
However, the project also has the following significant risks:
Demand for the protocol token is not guaranteed
Dependence of the platform’s success on the involvement and acceptance of the community and market players
Relatively high indirect competition
Diversity of investments is rule 101 for traditional financial advisors and whilst there are counter-arguments, cryptocurrency holders could do worse than copy this mantra.
If holding physical precious metals, garaging classic cars or owning priceless pieces of art is not an option then diversifying into tokenised assets as an alternative maybe an attractive option for some.
To do this confidently, though, buyers must first trust the information they are given about any item. Which brings us back to provenance and explains why Codex Protocol is well-placed to capitalise on the new tokenised economy of artwork and antiques.
Competition in the space is growing but as yet there is no clear leader. For example, Verisart has been offering limited certification services since 2015 but has been on the receiving end of recent negative publicity, and the forthcoming Allpublicart ICO has similar intentions to Codex Protocol but has yet to launch. Additionally, none of the competitors are yet displaying the MVP, dApps or array of supporting outlets that Codex Protocol have.
Provided that it engages well with its news partners, Codex Protocol should be fast out of the gate to build upon early successes and establish a firm presence upon the sector.
To paraphrase the company’s roadmap, the longer term forecast is harder to determine. Much will depend on factors outside of Codex’s control, such as how the physical identification of artefacts and masterpieces is received and how this correlates to a decentralised provenance register.
RFID chips as well synthetic DNA are making rapid strides and linking those initiatives with a separate blockchain ledger could either hinder or accelerate adoption for Codex.
Either way, the Codex Protocol proposition represents substantial improvement on the status-quo and there is certainly enough substance here to warrant interest in the project.