A blockchain crypto-art rose titled "Forever Rose" has been sold to a collective of investors for cryptocurrencies with a value equivalent to $1,000,000 USD. The collective is composed of 10 investors, each of whom contributed an equal amount toward the digital rose. The artwork is based on Kevin Abosch's photograph of a rose and was created by Abosch and GIFTO, a decentralized universal gifting protocol.

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Blockchain technology is behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and rights management platforms like KODAKOne. The tech can also be used for art, as demonstrated by Abosch with "Forever Rose." Abosch previously sold an image of a potato titled "Potato #345" in 2016 for more than $1 million.

More than 150 buyers expressed interest in the Forever Rose, according to a press release detailing the sale. Ten collectors were ultimately chosen using a ballot—the buyers include ORCA Fund, Chinese crypto-investor Ms. Meng Zu, blockchain advisory firm TLDR Capital, and others. Payments were made in IAMA and GTO-by-GIFTO cryptocurrencies, with each buyer paying the crypto-equivalent of $100,000 to get 1/10 of the ROSE, an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain.

Forever Rose is believed to currently be the most valuable virtual artwork in the world. The buyers can choose to hold onto their rose tokens, sell them, or give them away. Abosch and GIFTO will donate the sale proceeds to The CoderDojo Foundation, which provides kids around the world with the opportunity to learn coding skills for free.

Press Release

World’s Most Valuable Crypto-Artwork Sells for US$1 million

HONG KONG, Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – IN CELEBRATION of Valentine’s Day, the Forever Rose, a crypto-art project produced by world-renowned visual conceptual artist Kevin Abosch and blockchain universal virtual gifting protocol project GIFTO, sold for US$1 million worth of cryptocurrency to a group of 10 collectors.

With the sale, the Forever Rose is now the world’s most valuable piece of virtual artwork ever sold, and marks the historical merging of blockchain technology, fine art, and charitable causes.

Due to an overwhelming response with over 150 potential buyers from around the world indicating their interest, the decision was made to allow 10 buyers to buy the Forever Rose, as a way to show how the crypto community can come together to do their part to benefit the underprivileged.

To select the buyers for the Forever Rose, a ballot was held to determine the 10 collectors who can purchase the Forever Rose on 14 February at 14:00 Hong Kong time. These 10 collectors are some of the leading projects and investors in the crypto community. They are:

  • ORCA Fund, the premier digital asset fund in Asia
  • Future Money and Ink, a leading blockchain investment fund and IP asset exchange
  • Node Capital and Jinse Finance, a leading crypto fund and financial media in Asia
  • TLDR Capital, a leading blockchain advisory firm
  • Project Boosto, power global influencers with their own dApps and tokens
  • Project DAC, a platform for decentralized interactive audio
  • Project Nebulas, a search framework for blockchains
  • Project Caring Chain, a decentralized charitable cause platform
  • Ms. Meng Zu, a leading crypto investor in China
  • 1 collector who wishes to remain anonymous

Charles Thach, Managing Partner of ORCA Fund said: “ORCA is honored to support the Forever Rose project, our philosophy of bridging the best of west and east in blockchain industries fits nicely into the ethos of the Rose, and we will continue to contribute back to society via future charitable endeavors.”

Mori Wang, Founder of Project Caring Chain, said: “I believe blockchain technology has a huge potential to transform the entire charitable world, bringing transparency and accountability to projects worldwide. Project Caring Chain is proud to be a part of this historical milestone, the world’s first crypto charitable artwork.”

The cost of the Forever Rose was paid using two cryptocurrencies – GTO by GIFTO and IAMA by Kevin Abosch, with the 10 buyers splitting the cost of the crypto-artwork evenly, with each buyer paying US$100,000 in crypto currencies. The Forever Rose is an ERC20 token called ROSE on the Ethereum blockchain that is based on Mr Abosch’s photograph of a rose. The buyers each receives 1/10 of the ROSE token, as ERC20 tokens are divisible. They can then choose to hold their portion, sell it, or give it as a special gift for Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion.

The exact number of tokens required was determined according to their value on 14 February at 10:00 Hong Kong time. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to The CoderDojo Foundation, whose mission is to ensure that every child around the world should have the opportunity to learn code and to be creative with technology in a safe and social environment.

With the donation, Mr Abosch and the GIFTO team aim to inspire future generations to continuously push the boundaries and tap on technology to create a better world, and also to call on the crypto community to use more of the vast wealth created for charitable causes.

Ms Giustina Mizzoni, Executive Director of the CoderDojo Foundation, said: “A huge thank you to both Kevin and the GIFTO team for choosing the CoderDojo Foundation to benefit from this historic project. Technology is rapidly changing the world we live in. We have a duty to ensure that the next generation can not only seize the opportunities presented by this, but also influence and shape its future. Thousands of volunteers around the world are working to ensure this by creating opportunities for young people to code and create through the global CoderDojo movement.”

The Forever Rose project started as a personal collaboration between Mr. Abosch and Andy Tian, founder of GIFTO, as a way to stimulate a deeper discussion on the state of the crypto and blockchain industry, which has captured the world’s attention over the last few months. The project is symbolic of the current massive global popularity of cryptocurrency, and also aims to drive discussion regarding the entry of blockchain technology into the mainstream economy.

After it is sold, a dedicated website will be available to track the value of the artwork based on movements of GTO and IAMA and giving the public a visual representation of the movements and trends in the current cryptocurrency environment. Mr. Abosch and Mr. Tian hope that The Forever Rose will become a symbol of the blockchain and crypto world, and extend an invitation for everyone to participate in the project by recording and submitting their responses on video. Instructions are on the Forever Rose website.

Mr Abosch is most famous for creating and selling his iconic photographic portrait of a potato – “Potato #345” for more than US$1 million in 2016, and is much sought after for his portraits of top global celebrities from the entertainment and technology sectors. He has been pushing the limits of visual and conceptual art for most of his career.

He said: “I’m delighted that the crypto world has come together around The Forever Rose to further demonstrate the elegant power of the blockchain as a technology, but more importantly, as an instrument through which goodwill and humanity can be amplified.”

The GIFTO project, which completed the fastest-ever token sale in Asia in 1 min in Dec 2017, is the world’s first universal gifting protocol. GIFTO was created by the makers of Uplive (http://up.live/), one of the most popular live streaming mobile applications in the world with over 35 million users. IAMA Coin is a crypto-art project that Mr Abosch launched recently (http://www.iamacoin.com/), in which the artist himself explores the value of a crypto coin.

Mr Andy Tian, CEO and founder of GIFTO, said: “We are excited that the community has embraced the Forever Rose Project, and has come together for a great cause. We see a lot of parallels between blockchain technology and art, and hope that the Forever Rose can become a historical point marking blockchain moving from an esoteric technology, into the minds and hearts of every day people.”