At Verisart, we’re always looking to build tools to provide more transparency and context for creators. One question we were frequently asked by our community is how to best to establish a connection between their digital COAs and their physical creations. You asked and we listened - after exploring a number of different solutions, we developed our secure QR stickers.
The secure QR stickers are designed to be placed on physical creations and linked to the digital COA. They can be used to help establish authenticity and gain access to additional content by scanning a QR code with your smartphone.
Internationally renowned creators and Verisart users Shepard Fairey and Random International have both chosen to use our secure QR stickers for their works. Keep reading to learn more about secure QR stickers and how they strengthen the link between physical artwork and digital certification.
Emerging Tagging Technologies: The physical-digital link
Over the past few years, different ways of linking the physical with the digital have been explored.
RFIDs & NFCs:
RFIDs can be attached (or embedded into) objects in order to quickly track and identify that object via electromagnetic waves. Another emerging tagging technology is NFCs. They’re similar to RFIDs but with limited communication - hence why you have to hold your smartphone so close to the reader when making a contactless payment.
QR codes also provide a way of linking physical objects with digital information. A QR code is a machine-readable barcode that contains information about the object it’s attached to and can be scanned using a smartphone to access information.
Existing use cases
Several consumer goods companies are now using ‘smart packaging’ embedded with RFID/NFC sensors to track the product’s journey across the supply chain, providing improved traceability of produce as well as transparency around quality and sustainability standards.
Nowadays, scannable QR codes are everywhere from interactive shopping experiences to restaurants and tickets.
Why should the creators jump on the bandwagon?
A general lack of trust and transparency is a major issue across the industry: from creators getting their work copied to the Knoedler Gallery, one of New York’s oldest galleries, closing down after they were discovered to be selling fake Mark Rothko works.
In light of issues such as these, the ability to track the ownership history (often referred to as provenance) and access information about a specific creation contributes to improving the art world and broader creator economy.
To tackle issues of authenticity and provenance within the art world, Verisart helps creators issue Certificates of Authenticity time-stamped and registered on the blockchain. Each certificate is verifiable and permanent, reducing the scope of fraud and forgery.
While our digital certificates build trust in the authenticity of artworks, the next step is reinforcing the link between the digital record and the physical object. Our secure QR stickers do just that.
Holographic QR stickers
Why QR codes?
QR codes remain the most widely used method of instantly accessing information about a place or object. Over the past few years, museums have been experimenting with the use of QR codes to improve visitor experience, permitting attendees to easily and quickly pull up information about the exhibit by simply scanning a QR code on their smartphones.
During the pandemic, QR codes surged in response to an unexpectedly touchless society, providing an easy means to quickly access information. Today, most people have smartphones with built-in QR readers.
Tamperproof & Holographically Secure
Our secure QR stickers are tamper-proof, so if anyone tries to meddle with them, the damage is clearly apparent. We combine the QR codes with holographic paper. Holographs are extremely difficult to replicate and are often used to protect against forgery and counterfeiting. Each sticker also has a clear serial number which is assigned to a specific Verisart account and certificate.
In addition to these visible features, there is an embedded secret which exists only in the QR and the Verisart backend and is not visible to anyone else. When a creator or collector visits their certificate the secret code is passed and checked against the Verisart backend. If it matches, Verisart is able to provide additional reassurance that the QR is genuine.
How does it work?
Each QR sticker is linked to a specific account and certificate. The QR stickers are designed to be linked both by creators and their collectors.
Creators first need to indicate which COAs include a physical link. Next, they place the QR sticker on their work, scan the QR code and select the certificate they want to link it to.
Collectors start by scanning the QR code, next they’re asked to log in or create their free Verisart account using the email address which owns the COA. Once they’re in, they tap a button to confirm the linking of the digital COA and physical creation.
Once the link is established, it becomes easy to access the certificate and review the authenticity and provenance of the work in real-time.
The certificate displays important details about the work including the creator, title, dimensions, materials used, year of production and any other events captured in the history of the certificate, such as edits or transfers.
A Verisart certificate of authenticity allows creators to tell the story of their work by providing additional context and files. By simply scanning a QR code collectors can gain instant access to a whole range of exclusive, unlockable content and rewards.
Random International chose to use our holographic stickers for their works ‘Light Series’. “We love using your holographic stickers because they provide an easy and straightforward way to authenticate the work and to access your Certificate of Authenticity”, says the collective. “We have been looking for a while for a solution like this and this seems to be providing it all in one place.”
The combined use of QR codes, holograms and blockchain provides enhanced transparency, traceability and security that works to augment and improve existing artwork authentication practices. We believe that bridging the digital-physical divide is the next step to building more of an open and trusted market for everyone.
If you’re interested in purchasing higher volumes or want to customize your stickers, please get in touch with a member of our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.