How can blockchain archives change the way exhibitions are documented?

Although decentralized blockchain technology has been around for a relatively short period of time on a large scale, its decentralized nature has the power to keep data and information out of the hands of censors who want to create a “safe” and “fault-free” environment. version of history.

Blockchain is permissionless and literally does not belong to anyone. So while you may not be able to save the library of Alexandria from the past, you can be sure that it is well equipped with the necessary tools to preserve historical records in the future.

Here we take a look at some of the ways Nonfungible Tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technologies have been used to maintain archives, the potential downfall of those technologies, and the future of blockchain-based storage systems.

NFTs and Archives

While many of the current use cases surrounding NFTs deal with digital art, there is another aspect of non-fungible tokens that we are just starting to explore.

Maintaining an archive can be a costly and time-consuming effort, but NFTs can serve as a type of fundraising to support archive development.

For example, fashion designer Paco Rabanne accumulation It supports his physical archive and his brand name.

Also, the technology itself can be used as a means of storing information.

Archangel, a test project for the University of Surrey’s “Trusted Digital Public Archives”, has done just that. From 2017 to 2019, universities were able to create a test blockchain archive storage system using distributed ledger technology (DLT) and NFT. move “From an emphasis on institutional trust to an emphasis on technical trust.”

Cointelegraph spoke to Foteini Valeonti, a researcher at University College London and founder of USEUM Collectibles, an organization that advises museums, policymakers and cultural groups on NFTs, about blockchain and the role of NFTs in the archives.

Valeonti said blockchain technology could be a way for museums to “take advantage of their unique capabilities for source and metadata integration.” Finally, each museum exhibit will have only one unique identifier across different institutions, projects, and all sorts of different information systems.” This could be a way to keep track of which museum owns what and who last owned it.

Last year, Hobby Robbie Empire’s family was discovered: reserve 17,000 ancient Iraqi artifacts looted during the war. These security breaches of ancient artifacts demonstrate that in times of war and instability, the right (or the wrong) can come and steal valuable cultural identities.

The difficulties involved in repatriating stolen artifacts underscore the problem that cultural items are often not properly classified. Valeonti added:

“Maintaining unique data for sources can help solve many of the information science challenges facing the cultural heritage sector today.”

war record preservation

While digital media is vulnerable to propaganda accusing and claiming that certain events have or did not happen, propaganda’s attempts to nullify the experience of those living in war-torn areas plunge people into a pit of constant misinformation. .

In the case of the current conflict in Ukraine, there has been a major shift in the way encryption and blockchain are used to preserve Ukrainian culture and record people’s experiences of war.

The Meta History Museum is one of those decentralized projects that record the events of an ongoing war in real time. First, they sell NFTs to raise funds for the war by exhibiting Ukrainian artists around the world. The money is then used to fund data collection as well as support the Ukrainian military. So far, the Meta History Museum has High 270.37 Ether (ETH) or $611,953 at the time of writing.

The Meta History Museum is a collection of tweets from Ukrainian government officials, as well as international organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and BBC News, of bombardment and bombardment during the war, in tweets, “archive the memory of the war”. places” are collected. Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov to support the efforts of the Metahistory Museum Tweet“While Russia uses tanks to destroy Ukraine, we rely on innovative blockchain technology.”

Artwork by Ukrainian artist Alisa Gots. Source: Meta History Museum

disaster prevention

In wartime, it is essential to have systems in place to protect those at risk. One such system is the Hala Sentry system, designed to record immutable data on Ethereum about air strike alerts, bomb threats, and instances of events that could lead to the death of thousands and the destruction of entire cities.

This is done like this: offer “It is an interface to data from sensors, human observers, and strategic partners, along with information from open media.” This has the aspect of using an automated system to record wartime records, but this makes data and airstrike records immutable. Even if a news channel or people block information about a particular event, people can see and see what’s happening at any given moment.

The project was also a significant success, as the Hala Sentry system said “preliminary assessments indicated that the system reduced the lethality of airstrikes in heavily bombed areas in 2018 by about 20-30%”.

Are there any downsides?

As a nascent technology, blockchain technology is still experiencing growing pains in terms of development (scalability is a major issue) and regulation surrounding space.

As Valeonti said, “NFT technology is still in its infancy, especially when it comes to archiving.” She adds that most of the information currently available for data storage is kept partly in decentralized repositories and partly on centralized servers. “The centralized authority model simply doubles the institutional basis for trust,” the Archangel said.

Technology and Web3’s adaptation must continue to scale to handle the massive amounts of data and information that distributed archives need to thrive. According to Valeonti, blockchain doesn’t exist yet, and development of the technology must come first before trusting the rarely used technology as valuable information.

Another aspect that puts blockchain technology at a disadvantage besides trust is that it is more anthropologically driven, primarily because copyright claims on artifacts have a strong cultural presence compared to the use of artifacts in museums.

Depending on the According to the publication of the World Intellectual Property Organization, “Cultural institutions, including museums, libraries and archives, play a valuable role in the preservation, protection and promotion of indigenous and traditional cultural collections such as artifacts, photographs, recordings and films. do. A manuscript documenting the life, cultural practices, and knowledge systems of a community.”

First, it is their responsibility to protect the relics because they do not belong to these institutions. Second, “for the collecting institutions, activities that collect users’ personal information such as membership records and Internet tracking data must be managed. Comply with privacy legislative requirements” and maintain personal agreements with the parties concerned in any sense.

For example, the National Museum of the American Indians in Sutherland, Maryland offers private tours of its artifact collection, but only displays artifacts approved by Native American tribes to allow the museum to store the nation’s history.

“A decentralized storage solution that automatically makes all images and assets publicly accessible to everyone will not be an option for the majority of museums with limited copyright policies,” Valeonti said. Because we can’t provide their artifacts, for example, we can’t afford to lose image licensing revenue.”

Another problem with using blockchain-based decentralized storage systems is one that many cryptocurrency holders can relate to. Private key protection. “In my opinion, an important barrier is the inherent flexibility of blockchain technology,” Valeonti explained.

“Unless a centralized management platform is used, if someone forgets their password, all assets are lost forever.”

So who will control the seed phrase? Who is responsible for ensuring that the seed phrase is on the correct user? Valeonti further noted, “There have been studies proposing potential solutions, but it may take some time before we see these inventions actually deployed on leading blockchains.”

How to better solve this problem

No matter how challenging your application, there are specific ways to secure your data and archives using blockchain, DLT, and NFT.

“What museums can do,” suggested Valeonti, is to engage in these discussions and help shape the future of Web3. She also said that cultural institutions should be at the forefront of the future. As technology changes, the world of archiving and museum archiving must also change with it.

Valeoti and colleagues at UCL, together with the British National Museum, are exploring these challenges: “The robustness of decentralized storage, metadata integration and off-chain metadata persistence”. This is a great example of how blockchain and museums work together and change the way archives are used.

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