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A Universal Record of Tattoos, Engraved on the Blockchain


For centuries, inserting pigment under the skin defined countless cultures and rituals. Our innate desire to be unique and permanent manifests itself through arts. And, there's no art that's closer to the human body, more unforgiving, persistent and unique other than tattoos. More than anything, body art is a way of life. We are going through a paradigm shift. Revolutionary technnologies of decentralized blockchains are promising absolute permanence of records. Tattoos have always been "for life" and now, they are forever. This is the point in time at which organic persistence coalesces digital permanence. It's time for tattoos to become immutable, provable, inheritable and programmable. Singularity is now.

Why Blockchain?

Blockchains are overhyped. The requirements of many emerging projects can be fulfilled with today's relational databases. Tattoo art, in its DNA, shares key characteristics with blockchains: The main purpose of both of their existence is permanence and immutablility. Body arts are traditions that span over generations, yet they die with our bodies. The Internet made all the content in the world available to anyone with a device and a connection. But it failed miserably in keeping a consistent, trustless record of art and the artist. The tools we can utilize to settle a dispute over who created a design are merely impractical. For artists of the "Right Click - Save As" era, provanence have increasingly become a serious problem. On the other hand, we've been trading almost everything online for more than two decades, but not tattoos. It's obvious that Web2 tech and applications failed to do the job required on many levels. Artists in different fields have long been waiting for a change, we just didn't know what would trigger that change, until the blockchain.

From Parlor to Gallery to Metaverse

The way the tattoo businesses function today can be limiting to artists' creativity and exposure in many ways: A large portion of artists, despite their talent and creativity, are bound to work from catalogs. Being a tattoo artist is mostly a day job with no passive income options. Since they are non-transferrable, there are no royalties related to tattoo art. Exposure is tricky; artists are increasingly forced to growth-hack their social media presence by all means. Web2 algorithms became absolute gatekeepers of data flow. Platforms can censor, mute or ban any content or creator, mostly without repercussions. Big tech thrives on user content and data, all the while sharing none of the created value back with the communities that make them. BirthMark envisions a new realm: By focusing first and foremost on empowering artists, by freeing them from constraints of time, space and algorithm, we believe we can emphasise the Art within the craft stronger than ever.

A Global Community

In first stages of their mainstream adoption, NFTs manifested themselves as a community-driven, utilitarian asset class. Few art forms would fit in the community aspect of NFTs as well as tattoo art does. Tattoo world has always been a close-knit tribe with many colors and shapes. Blockchain tools give us the power to unveil and expand into a global community. Tattoos are utility to NFTs, beyond speculation, through their real life application. NFTs are utility to tattoos through online communities, decentralized decision making mechanisms and game theoretical principles in value sharing. BirthMark is a prototype, which is yet to be molded by its community.

Provenance, Value and Beyond

NFTs offer true ownership, forever. Powered by NFTs, tattoos become inheritable; a tattoo can be passed on through generations. Some belief systems may forbid body modification; tattoo NFTs can be owned without being applied to the skin. They become collectibles, art that can be kept and sold multiple times before and even after their application. They may turn into speculative assets, a type of value proposition that wasn't possible in the past. With perpetual royalty functions in smart contracts, tattoos become a source of passive revenue stream for artists. Powered by metadata on the blockchain, ownership and authorship of the art become provable, immutable and trackable. Powered by smart contracts, tattoos can be integrated into games, metaverses, AR/VR applications and future digital technologies. NFTs are the key to unlocking a potential that has never been seen before.

More Than a Marketplace

Body art is more than a trade. It's rooted in social connectivity. A platform for tattoos has the potential for functioning in a more meaningful way than just a store. A platform for artists, can only be built by the valuable input of the artists. BirthMark, invites tattoo artists around the world to join the discussion, in an effort to build such a platform.

Better Tools For Everyone

BirthMark App proposes functionality that would not be feasible for large marketplaces:

  1. NFT tattoos that can be sold with optional real life application.
  2. Settings for artists to specify end dates for the application of sold tattoos.
  3. Option to extend end date.
  4. Keeping track of applied tattoos on-chain.
  5. Scheduling and tracking appointments through on-chain verification.
  6. Secondary market for applied tattoos and re-application options via on-chain transactions.
  7. Ability for artists to deploy their own minting contracts and create collections.
  8. Feature for artists to mint their pre-NFT works and transfer them to their owners.
  9. Voting power for artists and collectors on platform's features and usage of community funds.
  10. Collaborative NFTs between designers and tattooists.

When it comes to tattoos, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Listed features and further functionality are yet to be discussed within the community and the Elders of the Tribe.

Between Dystopia and Utopia: Virgin Lands

Discussions over our future in the metaverse are polarizing to say the least. We fear what we don't know and we can't see what's coming next in this new paradigm. BirthMark's long term vision, Virgin Lands, involves conservation and reforestation efforts, while building natural paradises where a universal tribe can gather year-round. A future metaverse that's backed by real land for its community. True harmony between progress and nature requires more than technological innovation. Progress is inevitable, disconnection is not.

BirthMark stands on the shoulders of tradition with an aspiration for progress.