The rise of NFTs in the art world did not come as a surprise to Vandana Taxali.
“It’s been amazing to watch this idea I had gain traction and become something everyone is talking about,” she said during a recent telephone interview.
The Artcryption co-founder believes the desire to collect what is unique and valuable is a driving force of humanity, but artists have often suffered when that desire is compromised by free and easy access to the results and products of artistic skill.
“Anything you put online can be fair game and people think they can just copy it,” Vandana remembered.
That anything is fair game attitude, might be acceptable to everyone who downloads images from the Internet, but it was never going to be acceptable to Vandana, an intellectual property lawyer with over 15 years of experience in the area of technology, blockchain and arts/entertainment.
Gary Taxali, is Vandana’s brother, an artist and her co-founder. His experience was also, at least in part, the inspiration behind Artcryption, a platform to protect, manage and license art, digital assets and Intellectual Property with NFTs and blockchain technology.
“It was really through his trials and tribulations that I saw this as a tool that could really happen,” Vandana remembered. “As an art agent and artists’ lawyer, I do understand their unique needs and concerns. I started studying blockchain and I saw it as a solution for some of my clients and for companies to protect their ideas and any assets they may have. It lets them open up their work to the world while protecting it and giving it some value through its own digital identity.”
Artcryption was recently recognized by a community of potential funders and investors as one of the top four companies appearing at the IDEA Scale-Up Pitch Day event hosted by the City of Mississauga’s Economic Development Office. The IDEA Scale-Up Program, funded and delivered by the city, is a 4-month program to support innovative and inclusive companies to grow and overcome barriers. Participants like Vandana have the opportunity to attend workshops and seminars that address common challenges faced by scaling.
“The City of Mississauga Scale-Up Program was invaluable for Artcryption in connecting with mentors, contacts and investors and certainly helped accelerate our growth,” Vandana said.
While she believes we haven’t really solved the whole issue of digital ownership completely, Vandana believes the NFT craze has helped people to value art.
“The NFT craze combined with the pandemic has been an important time for art, art creation, collecting art and assigning value to art. When you are used to being around a creative space, and then when we are isolated from each other, we turn to art because art feeds our souls,” she explained. “I think, based on the lessons we have learned and what we have seen, everyone is going to be integrating blockchain into their businesses and NFT platforms are going to be as big a part of the ecommerce world as Shopify is right now.”
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