Sci fi and courtroom drama legend William Shatner has announced a partnership with London legaltech firm Mattereum to document the authenticity of memorabilia and collectibles on the blockchain. During New York Blockchain Week, they will showcase their new Asset Passport technology, which uses legally-binding “smart contracts” to ensure the accuracy of records.

William Shatner said: “I’m announcing that I’m partnering with Mattereum and other technology creators to establish an authentication system. With it, we can know where an item has been, who has owned it, and if it is genuine. It can mean the difference between a priceless, future heirloom, and worthless fake.”

The new initiative will create digital twins for science fiction and other collectible memorabilia. The first digital twin is for a one of a kind numbered action figure of “Capt. James Kirk in Casual Attire”, autographed by Mr Shatner. The digital twin, stored on an immutable ledger, will assure collectors that the item is from Mr Shatner’s personal collection.

Mattereum Chief Legal Officer Chris Wray said: “The Mattereum Asset Passport gives you reliable provenance for your collection, backed by the liability of those who certify it – and ultimately their collateral, insurance, and personal assets. Transparency and enforceability will be essential tools in the fight against fraud and counterfeiting.”

The legal provisions which Mattereum builds will ensure that asset owners and businesses can trade with confidence in the provenance of the items involved. Mattereum provides an effective and fair dispute resolution mechanism that secures rights across the world’s jurisdictions, allowing physical property to be digitally organised and its value unlocked, wherever it resides.

Mattereum CEO Vinay Gupta, the former launch coordinator for Ethereum, said “Using digital twins, Mattereum is weaving the digital and physical together in a new way. Today we verify that assets are genuine. Soon, we will showcase our blockchain systems for effortless, elegant trade, transfer, track and trace, even physical search. It comes from a new way of thinking about how computers can upgrade physical matter into something more conceptual, more responsive. We are going to provide the frameworks for environmental impact, carbon tracking, and end of life disposal too.”

Paul Camuso, an expert in collectables and art, is curating the new initiative. He said: “The global market for art and collectibles is estimated at $67bn annually. As trading moves online, collectors are increasingly concerned about the risk of fraud, and there is demand for digital authenticity solutions.” Added Rob Knight, Mattereum’s Chief Technical Officer, “Claims about objects in our Asset Passports are legally binding, so you can be confident that they’re accurate – it’s true, or you can sue”.

Vinay Gupta, Rob Knight and Paul Camuso are available for interview.

For further information: pressoffice@mattereum.com