BitchCoin Is a New Cryptocurrency for Art
Speculation by Sarah Meyohas. From Bitchcoin.biz: "Speculation is the first image to back BitchCoin. It is currently stored in safety deposit box #138 of HSBC, 110 William Street, NY, NY 10038." via
Artist and finance whiz Sarah Meyohas has created a currency that packs a punch?or, rather, a slap: BitchCoin. In this sassy spin on cryptocurrency, Meyohas plums ever deeper into the depths of artistic economies. By purchasing one of the artist?s BitchCoins, investors can bet on the uncertain future of Meyohas? not-yet-produced art.
The exchange rate of Meyohas? system is fixed at "1 BitchCoin to 25 square inches of photographic print," a rate at which Meyohas promises will remain fixed. After purchasing a BitchCoin, each investor receives a physical certificate with the information for an encrypted BitchCoin account. Although they risk losing the increase in the future values of Meyohas? art, at any point, investors can exchange their coins for one of the artist?s prints.
"Visual artists generally don?t receive royalties like musicians or writers," Meyohas explains on the BitchCoin website. "An artist?s work might fluctuate wildly on the market, changing hands between collectors several times without any permission of, or compensation to, the artist. BitchCoin gives Sarah Meyohas a controlling stake in the supply, demand, and price of her own work."
The BitchCoin logo, via
BitchCoin is focus of Where Gallery?s Where 6 exhibition, which focuses itself around prediction. Potential investors can attend the BitchCoin launch party on February 15th, where 200 coins will be sold backed by Meyohas? edition of "speculation" prints, Speculation (viewable above). Soon, BitchCoins will be available in their own online currency exchange.
The virtual currency bitcoin is getting a very real boost on Monday with the opening of the first licensed U.S. exchange.
Coinbase Inc., a startup backed by $106 million from the New York Stock Exchange, banks and venture-capital firms, said its exchange will offer greater security for individuals and institutions to trade bitcoin and monitor real-time pricing of the cryptocurrency.
The exchange could bring needed legitimacy to the currency, which isn?t backed by a central government and is traded over virtual exchanges, primarily overseas. Coinbase said it has insurance, offering traders some assurance that their money won?t disappear.
Bitcoin enthusiasts have been buffeted by the collapse of Japan-based exchange Mt. Gox last year?taking with it around half a billion dollars of investors? money?and a security breach earlier this month at Slovenia-based exchange Bitstamp. The value of a bitcoin itself, determined by trading on existing exchanges, has fallen to about $240 from a peak in late 2013 of above $1,200.
?To have an organized exchange that has the backing of thoughtful venture capitalists and investors addresses one of the main problems with bitcoin: its extreme volatility,? saidCampbell R. Harvey, a Duke University finance professor who has studied cryptocurrencies. ?Bitcoin has been sorely in need of something like this.?
Coinbase?s founders say they have been working for roughly a year to win licenses from state financial regulators. Coinbase will operate exchanges in 24 states. Only account holders in those states can use the exchange.
Coinbase will take a small percentage, 0.25%, of most transactions and will take no fees for the first two months, said Fred Ehrsam, 26 years old, a co-founder. The exchange will initially be limited to users in the U.S., but Chief Executive Brian Armstrong, 32, said he plans to expand overseas.
Mr. Armstrong said he expected to attract both individuals and businesses looking to trade bitcoin. ?Our goal is to become the world?s largest exchange,? he said.
Others are looking to open U.S.-based bitcoin exchanges, including Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twin brothers known for their early feuds with Facebook Inc. founderMark Zuckerberg.
Financial regulators, including the Federal Reserve, have been scrutinizing bitcoin recently. Benjamin Lawsky, the superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, is working on a so-called BitLicense for firms looking to offer digital-currency services in the state; Coinbase is operating under earlier regulations. Mr. Lawsky?s plan is seen as a template for legislation in other jurisdictions, and it may give outsiders more confidence in the currency.
Bitcoins are created using high-powered computers that ?mine? for the currency by solving complex mathematical equations. They are exchanged digitally either for currency, or goods and services. Ownership and transactions are recorded, anonymously, in a so-called blockchain, which backers say reduces the risk of fraud.
Bitcoin grew to prominence in recent years in part because of the ease with which it can be transferred.
Coindesk, which tracks the price of bitcoins, says 82,000 businesses accept the currency, double that of a year earlier, including e-commerce site Overstock.com Inc. and ExpediaInc., as well as many small retailers. The value of all bitcoin is $3.2 billion, according to Coindesk?s price index.
The NYSE invested in Coinbase during a $75 million round of fundraising that closed this month.
Other investors include USAA Bank, the venture arm of Spain?s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA and former Citigroup Inc. CEO Vikram Pandit and former Thomson Reuters Corp. CEO Tom Glocer. Venture backers include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures.
The NYSE?s investment was intended in part to ?keep an eye on bitcoin as it matures as a legitimate currency,? President Tom Farley said. ?Any currency relies on its acceptance.? The Coinbase exchange ?is an important step for the currency to become socially acceptable.?
Coinbase counts about 2.2 million consumer wallets and nearly 40,000 merchants that use its services. The company has about 75 employees and plans to operate in 30 countries by year-end, up from 19 today.
Gerrard uses technology to remind us that we are living in an increasingly simulated reality, one that we have imagined into being and are continuously recalibrating.?
Becker, Carol, 'Here Comes the Sun' Art in America, December 2014.
Thomas Dane Gallery is pleased to present a second solo exhibition by Irish artist, John Gerrard (b. Dublin 1974) consisting of two new works. Gerrard is widely regarded as a pioneer of digital media. Deceptively looking like film or video, his works are simulations - virtual worlds, made using real-time computer graphics, a technology developed by the military and now used extensively in the gaming industry. Often exploring geographically isolated locations ? be they the agrarian American Great Plains, remote reaches of the Gobi Desert, or sites of military exercises in Djibouti - the works frequently refer to structures of power and networks of energy that have coincided with the expansion of human endeavor in the past century. In Gerrard?s two new works, hyper-technology meets this sense of isolation again.
In early 2014, following his denial of access by Google Inc, Gerrard hired a helicopter and produced a detailed photographic survey of one the key physical sites of the internet - a Google data server building in Oklahoma, also known as a ?data farm?. This survey was the starting point of his new work entitled Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma), 2015. It features a simulated ?twin? of the squat building flanked by diesel generators and powerful cooling towers. The work extends Gerrard?s ?Grow Finish Unit? series, which focuses on architecturally similar, computer-controlled park production units in the Midwestern USA.
Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada), 2014 is shown for the first time outside the US, following its dramatic presentation in Lincoln Centre Plaza by the Public Art Fund in late 2014. Shown here as a large-scale projection, the work is a painstakingly accurate, virtual portrait of a functioning solar power plant. Ten thousand concentrically arranged monumental mirrors move in real-time according to the sun?s position. This virtual scene was created with a team of programmers using a sophisticated massive world simulation engine that situates the sun, moon and stars as they appear at the actual Nevada site over the course of a year. As this virtual world rotates on the earth?s axis throughout a 24 hour day, the perspective of the viewer gradually shifts from ground level to satellite view every hour, so that no view is precisely the same at any point during the course of the exhibition.
Recent solo presentations of Gerrard?s work include Solar Reserve, Lincoln Centre in association with the Public Art Fund, NYC. USA (2014), Dialogue (John Gerrard / David Claerbout), MuHKA, Antwerp, Belgium (2014) Exercise, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey (2014), Pulp Press (Kistefos), site - specific commission for Kistefos Museet, Norway, (2013), Exercise (Djibouti), for Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK (2012) Infinite Freedom Exercise, Manchester International Festival, Manchester, UK (2011). Gerrard?s work is in private and museum collections internationally, including Tate, London ; Pinakotek der Moderne , Munich; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington; SFMoMA, San Francisco; Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil