A startup that uses the bitcoin blockchain to establish digital ownership of art and other creative works has raised $2m in seed funding.
Founder Bruce Pon told the news outlet that the idea for the product first took shape in 2013, explaining:
“The idea to use blockchain to allow artists to create digital scarcity germinated in mid-2013 when [founders] Trent and Masha [McConaghy] asked ‘Can you own digital art like you own bitcoin?’”
The prototype for the project, Pon explained, was built by McConaghy in fall of 2013, with the founders leaving to pursue the project full time in 2014.
“Since then, we’ve been refining the technology and working with early users,” he continued.
Artists that use ascribe essentially create digital deeds for their work, which are then subsequently time-stamped onto the bitcoin blockchain. As shown below, once a file is uploaded to Ascribe, it creates a digital certificate that can be then be traded, tracked or loaned, thereby creating a chain of ownership for that work.
Proof of the transaction can then be found on the bitcoin blockchain. Ascribe utilizes an open-source protocol called SPOOL that sits on top of the bitcoin blockchain as a registry for works.
Ascribe has seen growing interest from both artists as well as companies that provide digital media, according to the company. Notably, the startup began partnering with Creative Commons France earlier this month.