Kevin Abosch’s Forever Rose donates $1m in crypto coin to CoderDojo

13 Feb 2018

Entrepreneur, artist and ontologist Kevin Abosch. Image: Kevin Abosch

‘I am a coin’ creator decides it is time that blockchain and cryptocurrency are used for worthy causes.

Irish artist Kevin Abosch and Andy Tian’s Gifto platform are donating $1m worth of Ethereum cryptocurrency to CoderDojo under their Forever Rose project.

Forever Rose is a joint project by Abosch’s ‘I am a coin’ (IAMA Coin) platform and Gifto to bring blockchain to the real world and real people by helping artists and content creators to present their work to a global audience.

‘Blockchain technology excites me as an artist. The intersection of art and technology is where I spend most of my time these days’

It aims to do so by paving the way for art to be integrated with blockchain technology, “protecting and storing the value of art eternally.”

Abosch, a photographer, artist, ontologist and entrepreneur, is well known for his portraits of technology founders and world leaders as well as for famously selling a photo portrait of a potato for €1m.

Encrypted with blood

His IAMA Coin project has seen Abosch create 100 physical artworks and 10m virtual artworks. The physical artworks are stamped using the artist’s own blood, with the contract address on the Ethereum blockchain corresponding to the creation of the 10m virtual artworks.

The virtual works are standard ERC20 tokens, and token owners can share these artworks and even divide them into smaller pieces before sharing.

And, from time to time, Abosch will make physical artworks of IAMA Coin virtual works available.

So, aside from their intrinsic value, they could be utilised as a means to trade for physical works with the studio’s permission.

CoderDojo was founded in 2011 by a young and eager James Whelton and SOSV partner Bill Liao.

Since then, the movement has exploded onto the global scene, with more than 1,700 Dojos across more than 75 countries, providing coding education to children with a legion of volunteers. Last year, it merged with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Speaking with, Abosch explained: “After launching my ‘I am a coin’ virtual art project, my friend Andy Tian, the CEO of Asia Innovations Group, reached out and suggested a collaboration around virtual art and his company’s decentralised gifting platform Gifto.

“With Valentine’s Day approaching, I chose one of the most familiar symbols of love: a rose. With all the attention around crypto these days, we figured it was the perfect opportunity to help raise some funds for a worthy cause: the CoderDojo Foundation.

“James Whelton, the founder of CoderDojo, is one of my dearest friends, and I have witnessed firsthand the work they’ve done across the globe.”

Abosch said we are on the cusp of a new era where the empowerment enabled by cryptocurrency could be a good thing for artists.

“Blockchain technology excites me as an artist. The intersection of art and technology is where I spend most of my time these days. Virtual art can still be quite challenging for the general public, particularly around matters of provenance, ownership and authenticity.

“The blockchain’s public ledger brings clarity to these matters. Hopefully, I can help empower other artists and creatives by example. This is just the start of a revolution, shifting power from traditional institutions to the public, many of whom feel sort of devalued,” Abosch said.

Disclosure: SOSV is an investor in Silicon Republic

Updated, 2.32pm, 13 February 2018: This article was updated to note that CoderDojo now has 1,700 Dojos active in 75 countries as opposed to 1,000 active in 60 countries as originally stated.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years