A 100 per cent Aboriginal-owned and operated Indigenous technology business, IndigiLedger is fighting to take down the fake Indigenous art industry.

Created by, for and with Indigenous people; IndigiLedger is pioneering a new way to legitimise Indigenous visual art and souvenirs by using blockchain technology to authenticate artistic material.

Quandamooka man Adam Robinson, Founder and Director of IndigiLedger said right now, authentication is only “based on good will”.

“What we want to do is provide that evidence and credibility in the marketplace,” he said.

“The power of this really does work to position Indigenous artefacts and expressions in culture in an authentic and traceable way, which is the missing piece between the producer of the work and the consumer of the work.

“Nearly a third of the [art] market is in rip-offs of fake art, a figure [that] is in excess of $200 million per annum.

“It’s hard not to estimate the power of returning that money back to Indigenous people, to its rightful owner … we’re missing out on $200 million — that’s just theft.”

“Economic sovereignty is at the heart of this as well, we want our mob to develop, grow and be self-sufficient.”

At the touch of a finger, artists and buyers alike can now scan blockchain barcoded artwork to display the artistic credentials and a ‘chain of custody’ from the artist through to the seller’s verified information.

Robinson explained how unlike RFID or the QR codes we use currently to sign into cafes and restaurants; blockchain adds a layer of credibility through authenticating the art piece in real time as opposed to just identifying it.

This technology allows regional and remote artists to have a means of ensuring their artistic credibility to buyers globally.

“It’s the fake art and rip-offs and the consumer is none the wiser, there’s no consumer-centric approach,” Robinson said.

“What I hope for with IndigiLedger is that this becomes the mark of trust in the marketplace, then what we can do is put pressure on our government for legislative reform.”

By Rachel Stringfellow