Start of call for global partners in the run up to the world-wide release of the whitepaper on October 15 by Startbahn, Inc., the “art × blockchain” Japanese startup



Startbahn, Inc. (headquarters: Tokyo; CEO: Taihei Shii), an “art x blockchain” startup in which contemporary artist serve as its representatives, has, since 2018, pushed forward with carrying out verifications in order to introduce, to the everyday world, artwork certification that uses numerous art-related groups and a blockchain. In the run up to the world release of the Art Blockchain Network (tentative name; “ABN”), which is a cutting-edge infrastructure that links art-related services, we are hereby announcing that, on October 15, 2019, we will release a whitepaper. Before releasing that whitepaper, we have set up ateaser site on which global partners can contact us.

The ABN is an infrastructure whose design and construction was developed by Startbahn, that guarantees trust and value in the arts and culture, and that supports further advancement in the arts and culture.

■ Innovative characteristics of the ABN
A design in which credibility is relentlessly pursued

The design guarantees the accuracy of sources and provenances of artworks, which are required to maintain and improve credibility in the art-world. In addition, we will keep our sights on resolving the oracle problem concerning the linking of artworks themselves to information on the blockchain until it is resolved.

Providing new methods for managing distribution

The ABN will provide various new methods that will come about thanks to guaranteed sources and provenances, a structure in which a portion of the sale amount is returned to the producer in each transaction, divided ownership of artworks, and copyrights management and transactional rules management when artworks are distributed for the second time and thereafter.

Updatability and interoperability that is focused on the future
The ABN combines expandability and updatability such that credibility in the continually growing and changing art-world is always maintained. We will carry out appropriate systematic upgrades that will be based on governance by people involved in the art-world and make a reality interoperability with other blockchain projects that are attempting similar aims.

■ On October 15, the art world will welcome a new era

ABN is an Ethereum-based network whose design and construction was developed by Startbahn, Inc.

After the release of ABN on the testnet in October 2018, numerous major media outlets reported that Startbahn, Inc. is a blockchain startup to watch. Many artists, galleries, major art E-Commerce operators, and auction houses in East Asia and elsewhere have already joined. Based on the plentiful feedback we received from these partners, we will release a whitepaper in October 15.

Furthermore, in order to maintain the publicness of ABN and operate it in a stable manner, we plan to establish the ABN Foundation (General Incorporated Association) and, while taking in viewpoints from various persons connected to the art industry, we plan to manage ABN as a shared base for the art industry.

We are currently accepting advance registrations, and fielding inquiries, on our teaser site (

Applicable persons: Groups and individuals who are connected to the art industry, irrespective of whether they are operating for-profit or not-for-profit, such as artists, management galleries, collectors, auction houses, operators providing EC services, art galleries, and foundations

Applicable items: All artworks for which artwork certification can be utilized, such as the target items, works of art, works of craft, photography, and digital art

Structure: Ethereum (supports ERC721)

Release Dates: The whitepaper is planned for release on October 15, 2019
Planned for release on the mainnet in January 2020

■ Call for partners to build a new-art world together with us

Since the release of ABN on the testnet, around 30 corporations and groups have joined ABN, including the one of the largest art auction company in Asia, EC services that handle first rate works of art and craft, and Asia’s largest art E-Commerce operator.

Plan to start providing part of the API at the same time at the whitepaper release

All corporations and groups will not necessarily have enough blockchain engineers. Due to that, we plan to set up an API. To persons who have registered their email address by using our teaser site, we plan to provide, as necessary, reference information on the future API and other such information on updates.

Applicable persons: Users of art EC services, CtoC commerce in which selling and buying is possible between individuals, and website building and blog services that can be managed by individuals such as Wordpress; all operators who manage work of art online

Applicable items: All artworks for which artwork certification can be utilized, such as works of art, works of craft, photography, handmade items, and digital artworks

Release date: Sequentially from October 2020 onwards

Inquiries: Startbahn, Inc.;

■ ABN will create an environment that will guarantee confidence and value in the arts and culture for the next 100 years, a time when technology will have greatly advanced

Our mission is to support art in a world of advanced technology. What has advanced through technology is not merely artworks that have been created with computers; in the art industry, the frontier of what humans can manage with manual procedures alone has been exceeded—for example, copied artifacts are widely distributed, highly accurate counterfeit works are made with the latest technology, and false trust is cleverly created in a network. The era in which secondary distribution could be managed with the use of expert techniques is over, and, currently, we feel that we are in circumstances in which preserving value is in danger and there is a threat of market collapse.

However, although value is being endangered by technology, some art has risen up due to technological advancements. We are now at the turning point of an era, and technological advancements, such as those in the Renaissance, which arose at a turning point in the distribution of information, give birth to new artistic issues and interests and enliven the arts and culture. In the midst of that environment, we don’t merely use technology to create a system that manages provenances and prevents counterfeits; we think about the possibilities that will be born from new arts and culture that rise up from an environment that was created to guarantee value.

As to art in the mainstream, which has been the basis for art overall, we will, of course, keep a close eye on what might become art in the future. And we will traverse the past, present, future, countries, races, cultures, and other kinds of categories and create a comprehensive infrastructure that manages art used by all of humankind.


■ Overview of Startbahn, Inc.
Company Name: Startbahn, Inc.
Representative: Taihei Shii, CEO
Location: Minami-Kenkyu-To 255, The University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Establishment: March 26, 2014
Contact information for inquiries related to this release
Email Address: