The Scarab Experiment: Creating A Decentralized Artistic Personae
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The Scarab Experiment is a fascinating attempt to create a kind of ‘virtual artist’ using decentralized technology to manage finances and facilitate collaboration.
Participants in the experiment will jointly create a new artistic personae, complete with a portfolio of up to 50 pieces of work. This artwork will come from a range of artists, who will compete for their art to be officially signed and sold as a ‘Scarab’ piece. Whether any submission makes the grade to become one of the fifty will be decided by a majority vote off all participants who have purchased the project’s decentralized digital asset. This asset will be issued in a limited number on the Bitcoin blockchain, using the Counterparty protocol. When a piece of artwork is sold, all token holders will receive a royalty payment as a reward for their participation.
Scarab Tokens & The Crowdsale
Disclaimer: Purchase tokens at your own risk; There is no escrow for this sale and the team behind it have chosen to remain anonymous so that ‘The Scarab’ is the only personae seen as being behind this project.
The Scarab tokens which entitle their owners to participate in the process of selecting artworks and subsequently to a 90% share in any profits generated will initially be sold in a crowdsale.
A total of 100,000 tokens have already been created. Out of this fixed supply, 40,000 will be made available for purchase in this ongoing crowdsale. A further 50,000 are set aside for paying artists, who each receive 10,000 tokens when their artwork is selected, in addition to a 10% commission if it is sold. The remaining 10,000 tokens are used for bounty payments to promote the project, as well as to cover costs incurred by the Scarab team for things like Exhibitions.
The format for this crowdsale is almost as unusual as the project itself. The first token will be offered up for sale starting at 1 Bitcoin and then gradually decreasing in price until it gets sold. When it is sold, all of the other 39,999 crowdsale tokens will become available to buy at the same price.
Submissions and Selection
Anybody who owns a Scarab token is eligible to submit their art through the project’s website.
When a new piece is submitted, it gets put to the token holders for a vote. This is done by emailing the token holders to solicit a yes or no response. In order to be accepted as an official Scarab piece at least half of all token holders must vote to approve it. The same 50% threshold is also used for any additional decisions which must be made, for example whether to sell prints for a given piece in addition to the original artwork.
This kind of majority vote does entail some risk. If a significant number of people purchase tokens but don’t bother to vote, then nothing will ever get past the submission process. At the same time, however, if it does prove hard to get 50% then this difficult submission process could also serve to ensure that only the best artwork gets selected.
In order to allay fears of people purchasing tokens, a refund process is going to be put in place which will allow backers to exchange their tokens back for the original amount paid.
Becoming the Scarab
The Scarab itself is an ancient esoteric symbol, serving in ancient Egypt as the avatar of the God Kepher who pushed the sun through the underworld during the night and back over the horizon to manifest the dawn of a new day. As such, the Scarab has always been a powerful symbol of transformation, of the hidden forces of ‘becoming’ in which the dying day is reborn as a fresh new day.
What will the Scarab become? What characteristics will this emergent personae take on? At this stage nobody knows, as the token holders will decide this as the experiment unfolds.
To become the Scarab and be a part of the experiment check out these links: