Part of our journey here at PRüF has been exploring markets and their problem-spaces within the wide range of applications for the PRüF Protocol. Along the way, we have had the good fortune to speak to several uniquely qualified individuals about the pain points and solutions within their particular market niche, and this has helped to inform and guide the direction of PRüF as we develop the unique features that position us as the industry-leading NFT protocol.
Often these explorations include the opportunity to work with some truly remarkable and talented people, and a recent example of this has been our partnership with world-renowned fine art photographer Jeff Mitchum.
Jeff Mitchum’s images have graced the Smithsonian Institute and the Getty Museum and have been featured in National Geographic, The Rangefinder, and other publications. His award-winning image, “Third Day,” sold for $1.8 million, making it one of the most expensive landscape photographs ever.
The vast majority of Jeff’s work is created entirely “in camera,” eschewing digital manipulation for capturing the beauty of the scene on film. He has been called the ‘Ansel Adams of color’ because of his early mentorship with Adams and resulting classic Ansel style, keen attention to detail, and unique creativity.
Working with Jeff, we envisioned the NFT as value-added and as a way to crystalize the work in a timeless digital form. As we anticipate with most fine art and cultural artifacts, an NFT would accompany the physical artifact itself.
In this case, we have helped to imagine a physical NFT, a jewelry quality precious metal object securely containing the NFT in a dedicated address. Resistant to almost any foreseeable disaster, this PRüF asset could include the digital proof of the image, printing specifications and parameters, cad files and specifications for manufacturing the frame, lighting specifications, and any other parameters enabling the faithful reconstruction of the original piece.
Along with the certificate of authenticity, the NFT could also contain a license permitting it to be reconstructed in the case of the destruction of the original article, making it phoenix-like in its ability to be restored as a genuine artifact. Of course, features and details such as these break new ground and require careful legal construction, but the promise remains — timeless digital curation and archiving of original physical artwork.
By following this model of impeccable integrity and natural, functional value addition to high value or priceless works, PRüF and Jeff Mitchum Galleries are breaking new ground in the digital manifestation of precious artwork and artifacts. Tokenization will increasingly gain traction and utility as ever more art forms follow photography into passing through a digital gateway on their way to achieving physical form.
PRüF can help in the conservation and curation of antiquities and other purely physical artifacts.
In the conservation of precious antiquities, the situation is complicated, as none of them passed through the digital “curtain” in their construction. Still, it is possible through detailed quantification to create very accurate digital representations from which an indistinguishable piece could theoretically be made. Although we may not yet be able to physically replicate an ancient artifact, beginning the process of building comprehensive, microscopically detailed digital models can provide permanence to these priceless treasures starting even today.
But what should we do to safeguard these digital artifacts? Creating a “backup” merely shifts the point of vulnerability. Centralized storage can be very secure and should be utilized, but it still represents a single point of failure. Governments rise and fall, institutions vanish, or are destroyed. Natural disasters and other black-swan events can make quick work of our best efforts to protect critical infrastructure.
Distributed systems such as blockchains can possess a resiliency that can make them resistant to black-swan events, often even benefitting from them. (if you haven’t read Nicolas Taleb’s excellent book, “Antifragile,” I highly recommend that you do)
Distributed systems eliminate single points of failure. Leveraging the alignment of incentives possible in blockchains, it becomes practical to create thousands or tens of thousands of backups spanning the globe. Widely distributed, the data’s physical manifestation could survive a global catastrophe spanning decades or more. Even if no single copy of an object remains entirely intact, with tens or hundreds of thousands of duplicate fragments, it would almost certainly be possible to piece together complete artifacts.
With its combination of verifiable provenance, provable authenticity, and blockchain data storage, PRüF is ideal for the tokenization of digital and physical items. PRüF gives physical objects an ethereal permanence not previously practical while bringing integral value and physicality to purely digital NFT assets.
Since the PRüF protocol is easy to use and requires no blockchain coding to implement, we anticipate that museums, collectors, and curators will flock to PRüF to safeguard society’s most treasured artifacts, ensuring their existence and preservation far into the future.