Blockchain takes centre stage in digital auction to support London theatre

One year after theatres in London went dark, Curve, the fintech that brings your cards into one smart card and app, has joined with Theatre Support Fund+, to sell five pieces of unique digital art in an online auction for charity.

A series of animated Curve branded figures will go under the virtual hammer as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) today, with online bids invited from all over the world. The auction will end on, or around, Friday 9th of April.

All proceeds will go to the Theatre Support Fund+, to support the struggling theatre community in London, which was devastated by the impact of Covid. Nearly 40% of theatre and art workers in the UK’s capital have been made redundant since the start of the pandemic a year ago.

The online auction kicks off a day before World Theatre Day, which falls on Saturday. World Theatre Day was started by the International Theatre Institute in 1961, exactly sixty years ago, to promote theatre in all forms and make people aware of its value to society.

In a first for a fintech globally, Curve has listed digital images of their iconic in-app characters for the auction on the crypto marketplace Rarible.com. NFTs are cryptocurrency tokens which certify ownership of a unique digital file using blockchain technology. The ownership history, item details, and copyright rules are stored on the decentralised network, providing a guarantee of ownership that is unforgeable.

Anyone from the public is able to view the images online, but must connect their Ethereum wallet to bid for the images online.

Curve’s founder and CEO, Shachar Bialick said: “The theatre community is part of what gives London its vibrancy and diversity, a combination that made Curve choose the UK capital as our HQ. I am proud that Curve is working with Theatre Support Fund+ on one of the first examples of using digital art to make a tangible difference to society. NFTs hold genuine promise to change how we think about art ownership and enjoyment as a purely physical experience.”

Damien Stanton and Chris Marchus, Co-founders of Theatre Support Fund+ said “We are excited to be partnering with Curve in its digital online auction to support out of work artists in the UK’s theatre industry. In 10 months, and since the UK’s first lockdown, the Theatre Support Fund+ has helped thousands of workers in the industry who have had no, or limited work, since theatres shut over a year ago.  This World Theatre Day it is important to look forward to what the future holds, but also to take a moment to look back and note the effect the last year has had on those who call the theatre home. Through partnerships such as this, we will be able to support those artists further, until the industry can be back making theatre again.”

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