1,001 Governance Proposals
“If I would be a thief, I’d download some works from [KnownOrigins], and put them up for sale on SuperRare,” said Robert Hoogendoorn in an interview with Crypto Briefing. “No way they will be able to tell. I’d be making money with somebody else’s work. That’s a problem that needs to be addressed.”
Hoogendoorn is the editor of Play to Earn, a newsletter that digs into the ins-and-outs of NFTs and blockchain gaming. He’s also the author of a proposed Digital Art Foundation, an open protocol where crypto art platforms like Rarible could corroborate uploaded work.
The idea has yet to manifest in any concrete development, but it has sparked discussion about how to solve crypto art fraud.
If the digital art market ever grows to the size of the traditional art market, writes Hoogendoorn, such incidents would demand legal action.
Community Director of Counterparty Foundation, Bench, has another, much older idea. For reference, the Counterparty Protocol allows users to build smart contracts on top of the Bitcoin blockchain
When asked how artists can best ensure that platform’s are protecting their work, Bench wrote simply, “by not trusting the platform lol,” in the RareAF Telegram channel. RareAF is a series of digital art festivals held every year in New York. This year will be its third round.
Instead of hoping that art platforms like Rarible do their due diligence and verify that a user is indeed authentic, Bench recommends hashing the token tied to a particular work of art.
Proposed in 2016, the first implementation was on a Rare Pepe card called “CHYNAPEPE” and leverages the Counterparty Protocol.
Once a hash is made of the asset using the Counterparty Protocol, it is then viewable using a Counterparty blockchain explorer. “The Counterparty token system also provides a secure way to transfer ownership, without the use of a trusted third party (unless you consider a decentralized exchange to be a third party) or escrow service,” wrote Bench in 2016.
It would also function on any given platform, including Rarible according to Bench. He told Crypto Briefing:
“You could use the concept we publish, [generate] a hash, [and include] that hash in the token details on any platform (as long as they allow you to insert a little ‘description’ metadata in the platform).”
Still, there are issues with both the cryptographic hash and forming a Digital Art Foundation recommendations. In regards to the first, users still trust that the person creating the hash is doing so in good faith. Rather than solving the problem, it is simply moved further upstream.
In the case of a Digital Art Foundation, it may lead to further centralization according to James Waugh, a co-founder RareAF and community manager at Enigma. “Overall, the downside of governance is unnecessary consolidation of power,” said Waugh in an interview. “Token-weighted votes are often plutocratic.”