Adam Lindemann tends to have pretty good timing.

He sold a group of radio stations for about $200 million just before the 2008 financial crisis, more than tripling his investment. A painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, which he bought for $4.5 million in 2004, sold for $57.3 million two years ago.

Now the son of late billionaire George Lindemann, who made a fortune in cable television and gas pipelines, is hosting a conference next week during Art Basel Miami Beach to explore how the blockchain, his latest obsession, can transform the art world.

“Everyone is talking about blockchain, but no one really understands it,” said Lindemann, 57, referring to the technology that supports Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. “This is the right time to think about art and tech.”

His half-day event, “The Art of Blockchains,” will take place Dec. 4, just as the world’s top galleries and collectors gather for the biggest contemporary art fair in the U.S., with more than $3 billion of works up for grabs.

Blockchain technology has been a hot topic in the art market because of its potential to disrupt the opaque trade, and give confidence to collectors who worry about buying fakes. Startups like Verisart already use it to register works and trace their provenance, verifying authenticity and ownership. Another firm, Codex, is working on an application that will allow auction bidders to pay with cryptocurrencies. Others offer fractional ownership of art through tokenized shares that minimize costs by bypassing traditional intermediaries.

Lindemann’s conference -- one of at least a half-dozen blockchain-related events to be held around Art Basel -- will bring together art and tech people in his orbit, including philanthropist Nicholas Berggruen. The keynote conversation will feature Lindemann and Jim McKelvey, who helped found payments firm Square Inc. with Jack Dorsey.

Emmanuel Aidoo, head of distributed ledger and blockchain strategy at Credit Suisse Group AG, will discuss the business of art and technology with art dealer Marc Glimcher and Dan Long, co-founder and chief executive officer of Artblx Inc., an art blockchain platform.

Lisa Phillips, director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, will lead a conversation about how art institutions view blockchain, with panelists including Stuart Comer, media curator at the Museum of Modern Art, and artists Leo Villareal and Simon Denny.

New World
Lindemann, who owns the Venus Over Manhattan art gallery in New York, said he’s an investor in several blockchain startups including Artblx, which predicts the technology will upend the art world and create a new one.

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