In an effort to get to know the Fintech ecosystem and their representatives better, we asked them a few questions as a part of our series of interviews: The Innovators. This time we caught up with Niko Kipouros, Founder of 4ARTechnologies, who are taking part in Deloitte’s 11th Annual Art & Finance Conference “The place of technology in Art & Finance” developed in partnership with the LHoFT.
“I am driven by my vision to connect everyone within the art world and the offering of a 100 % transparency. In the end it’s all about saving the cultural heritage.” – Niko Kipouros
4ARTechnologies – Solving the art world’s biggest problem
Niko, can you tell us a little about yourself and about your company? How did you get the idea to launch 4ARTechnologies?
I have been a professional art broker and passionate collector for over 20 years. I came across the blockchain and did a profound research about it. All concepts I found in this research are incomplete. They all do not see the full process and value chain within the art market.
As a result I founded 4ARTechnologies in 2017 in order to provide more transparency, safety and process efficiency across the entire art market. 4ARTechnologies offers a transaction and catalogisation platform which combines the enormous potential of the blockchain with patented and unique augmented authentication technology. As a former investment banker for, among other, Merrill Lynch, I understand both, the finance and the art market, very well. As CEO, I am responsible for the strategic development of the company as well as the growth of the platform. With a successful track record as an entrepreneur and investor and a portfolio of over 50 companies, I combine an excellent feel for business with the deep understanding of the art world.
What are the main challenges in deploying blockchain for the art market, and allowing fractional investment in artworks?
It’s all about understanding and trust. With the blockchain and it’s imminent transparency these challenges will be overcome. In regard to fractional investment I am convinced that the blockchain in combination with our tremendous technology offers a unique possibility, we will provide the missing link between art and finance.
Founder Niko Kipouros at 4ART’s Brunch at GRACE, Berlin
Hundreds of million dollars are lost to art fraud each year. How does your system, based on a powerful image-capturing software, render the artworks forgery-proof?
The Blockchain-stored certificate of authenticity is nothing new. But we connect the certificate with the object itself. Some detailed smartphone photos of the artwork are enough for the app to create a digital fingerprint. The app captures the characteristics, the “DNA”, of an artwork such as structure, material and surface and links them to the certificate of authenticity. If one scans a forgery of the image, the app recognizes this immediately. It is also able to detect any damage caused to the original.
What is your leitmotiv, and why?
I am driven by my vision to connect everyone within the art world and the offering of a 100 % transparency. In the end it’s all about saving the cultural heritage.
Any personal insight on “The place of technology in Art & Finance” you want to pass on to readers?
The finance market is permanently creating new products. The art world is a constantly growing market. I think that we combine the desire for new products with the capabilities of our technology.