Is it Copernicus

exploring the decentralization of money and power

As a Roman Catholic clergyman, mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1543) formulated the heliocentric model of the universe.

By placing the sun, instead of the earth, in the center, he laid the foundation for a new paradigm that had a profound impact on the money and power structures of his time.


With the internet as the main driver, in our time of huge technologic innovation the current power structures are also seriously challenged. People strive for institutions that serve the needs of humans instead of being a source of relentless politics, expensive bureaucracy or even blunt fraud. Blockchain technology promises the pieces of the puzzle that makes people cooperate in a new way that is frictionless and to the benefit of everybody. Is it Copernicus thinks it is time to raise the hardly thought provoking question: are we in the midst of heading for a new paradigm? And if so, are Copernicus alike ideas already around?


Is it Copernicus is an art project that explores this new paradigm of decentralization in the digital realm with the use of blockchains. By experimenting with shared ownership and (de)centralized governance the collective steering of money and power is explored. To do so Is it Copernicus fabricated a closed artwork made of glass that contains a public key that accumulates value. Breaking the artwork reveals the private key that gives access to the funds in the treasury. This raises interesting questions: What is shared ownership? What do we value (together)? And eventually, who decides about the faith of things that we own and govern collectively? Be invited to make this search with us.


One can become owner of one of the Is it Copernicus tokens via the marketplace Open Sea. By buying a token one ads money to its treasury and one gets three rights in return:

  1. free access to the musea, galleries and public/private places where the artwork is displaced

  2. the right to give workshops on behalf of Is it Copernicus, contributing 25% of the revenue to the address behind the private key in the artwork

  3. the right to transfer the token at any time at any given price someone wants to pay

No other rights can be derived from owning a token. All owners are fully aware of the fact that the breaking of the artwork makes all collectively accrued value disappear. Nine tokens where initially distributed over people that contributed to its technical realization, the other 12 are sold on Open Sea at the price of 0,5 ether.


The artwork will be displayed at prominent places that underwrite the goals of Is it Copernicus.

This can be @ a museum, @ public places and @ conferences where the impact of tokenisation on the academic fields of law, economy or governance is discussed.