Blockchain startup Codex has raised US$5 million from Pantera Capital, one of the most prominent hedge funds investing in blockchain, to fund the development of its decentralized title registry for the arts and collectibles asset class. Pantera Capital’s co-chief investment officer Joey Krug has joined Codex as a blockchain technology and strategic advisor.

“We are thrilled with the addition of Codex to our portfolio companies,” Krug said.

“We believe in Codex’s vision and its ability to radically transform how business is done in the fine arts and collectibles industry. We have also seen first hand the amount of new cryptowealthy investors looking to diversify and store value.”

US investment firm Pantera Capital exclusively focuses on investing in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, and has backed the likes of Bitstamp, Abra, Circle, Brave, Ripple, OmiseGo and ShapeShift.

Pantera Capital has also invested in another startup called Maecenas, which like Codex, is tapping into the art market.

Maecenas is a marketplace for fine art investment that uses blockchain technology to revamp what its founders claim to be a market that has largely remained unchanged for more than 300 years.

“As blockchain technology and digital currencies establish their role in the global economy over the next several years, our mission is to act as the catalyst for widespread blockchain adoption and innovation,” Krug said.

Codex is building a blockchain-based decentralized database for the arts and collectibles ecosystem. The platform aims to bring transparency to the market by enabling users to track the provenance and verify the authenticity of items such as art pieces, fine wine, collectible cars, antiques, decorative arts, coins, watches and jewelry.

Codex’s first application, called Biddable, will be a title-escrow system built on the Codex Protocol. Biddable will enable bidders to instantly and privately bid in auctions by depositing so-called DEX tokens into a smart escrow contract, which deters reneging.

“Codex is incredibly excited to receive strategic support and financial backing from Joey and the team at Pantera Capital,” said Mark Lurie, CEO of Codex.

“Their extensive knowledge of the blockchain space will be invaluable as we work alongside the Codex Consortium to place provenance on the blockchain and finally provide a title registry for the arts and collectibles asset class.

“The ability to prove ownership, without compromising the privacy demanded by fine art collectors, will result in a better, fairer, and bigger market for all participants.”

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