Cryptocurrency for Art


By Rachel Simons

Image courtesy of Sarah Meyohas.

Move over BitCoin. A new cryptocurrency plans to take the art world by storm.

BitchCoins, created by artist Sarah Meyohas, is a digital currency directly tied to her photographs. For each unframed vaulted print that Meyohas creates, she releases a certain number of BitchCoins equal to the photograph.

At fixed exchange rate of 25 square inches of photographic print per BitchCoin, clients aren’t just using these “coins” to buy a future piece of art; they’re investing in Meyohas’ career.

“I’m backing BitchCoin with basically myself and my creative output,” says Meyohas, “and that’s what seems to have hit a nerve.”

She continues that BitchCoin is a statement on the absurdity of the art market, offering a sense of humanism.

“I’m not doing this ironically, I’m pretty much tied to this currency,” she says. “I’m trying to find a way to create value that is linked to today’s world and to people that are creative agents.”

Speculation, the first image to back BitchCoin. Photo courtesy of Sarah Meyohas.

A graduate of both business and art school, Meyohas has long been fixated on the twin ideas of perception of value in economics and in the art world. Unlike the dollar, BitchCoin can only be used once on a piece of artwork. Meyohas eventually plans to create a BitchCoin exchange where clients can buy and sell BitchCoins with each other.

Currently, the price is $100 for one BitchCoin, but that is subject to change according to the public’s conception of the value of the art–along with Meyohas’ reputation.

“Backing BitchCoin with photographs is a risk because the value of a photograph is so up in the air,” admits Meyohas.

She reasons that the price of photographic prints has to retain value. Another comment she’s making on the art world through BitchCoin is how the primary market, how much artists sell their work for, is notoriously cheaper than the secondary market, the price the gallery sells the work for.

“Galleries control how much art they let out to certain collectors and they still charge prices that are much lower then what will resell between collectors or at auction,” she says. As such, it’s hard to keep the market stable.

BitchCoin isn’t just an artistic experiment, but also an attempt by Meyohas to maximize her longevity and profit margin in an economic world where the creators are usually the lowest on the totem pole.

As its name suggests, the project still retains a silly spin.

“One day it just popped into my head: BitchCoin. It was just too funny and I couldn’t get it out of my mind,” comments Meyohas.

With such an aggressive ring and humor tied to a serious statement, Meyohas knew she was on a mission.

For more about BitchCoin, tune into BTR’s Third Eye Weekly.