Maarten on Rubey

maarten on rubey

Maarten Van Doorslaer

Specialist in tokenized securities. 
Maarten and Untitled Workers Club are the founding fathers of Rubey, a service for museums to buy masterpieces via a security token offering.

How did you get in touch with Untitled Workers Club?

I attended the Money Conference in Dublin, and so did some employees of Untitled Workers Club. During the boarding procedure for our return flight, we started talking to each other.

Did you talk about security tokens right away?

Yes. Am I a freak now (laughs)? At Untitled Workers Club, they immediately felt that security tokens might be a solution for museums.

Are you interested in art?

My expertise lies in technology, but the more I work with Untitled Workers Club, the more I know about art. Gwenn, Peter and I worked very closely. Together, we are the triggers of the project. But we would not have been able to achieve it without the many project partners. 

Can you explain what a security token offering (STO) is?

Actually, it’s a new financing method based on blockchain technology. A Security Token Offering is best described as a process in which fractional ownership - of assets, property or debt - is offered in exchange for money. You can compare it with crowdfunding, but much more advanced.

Rubey is a crowdfunding technique 2.0. which makes the investment in art inclusive.
A service for museums and a concept for the people by the people.

I'm afraid I need a little more explanation.

Concretely applied to the project that we are now realizing, it means that we have developed a financing method for purchasing masterpieces. The money is brought together by a large group of people. Each participant owns, so to speak, a pixel or a fraction of the masterpiece (fractional ownership). This group is represented in a security token, which grants the buyers specific rights in relation to the masterpiece.

Why not just do a crowdfunding?

Security Token Offering complies with all EU financial laws and regulations regarding shares and securities. You're protected as much as a traditional equity investor. In addition, the tokens are programmable. This means that the fractional ownership features in the digital token are programmed, enabling the process of issuing, managing and transferring the digital tokens to be fully automated. So the token holders can – if they need the pennies of their investment back – just sell their token. So you can say it's a crowdfunding technique 2.0. With our project we also want to make the investment in art inclusive. So you won't find financial entry thresholds in our project. You can already participate with about 50 euros.
Another advantage compared to crowdfunding is that there is no limit on the amount you can raise with a STO. For example, through crowdfunding, we will never be able to finance a €10 million work of art, because the local regulator does not allow such an amount to be raised through traditional crowdfunding. STO doesn't have such limitations.

Where will the artwork be seen?

That's the beauty of the story. We have realized this project as alternative financing for the purchase of paintings for museums. The masterpiece will not be included in a private collection, but it will have a prominent place in a museum. We sincerely hope that the museum also makes it possible for the owners to come and admire their work. It is therefore a project that runs according to the principle of "by the people, for the people".


A photo of Maarten with crossed arms.


Another photo of Maarten with crossed arms.

How long have you been doing this?

Longer than we had expected at start-up. The project is called Rubey. The name came about because of the composition of Rubens and money. This is because the first goal was to bring a painting by Rubens back to Antwerp for the Rubens year. In the meantime, we are several years later. It was a little less obvious than we could have guessed at first (laughs). But fortunately we have continued to persevere and have surrounded ourselves with the best experts. For example, Loyens & Loeff Luxembourg were responsible for obtaining approval from Luxembourg's financial watchdog. The CSSF is similar to the Belgian FSMA. We had to move to Luxembourg, because Belgium has not yet included legal grounds around security tokens in its legislation. Other project partners include PWC Antwerp, Tokeny, Participation Company Flanders, ... Not the smallest, as you can tell.

When are you going to buy the first piece of art?

We currently have the approval of an important museum of international stature to start the first purchase together. This museum will of course receive the masterpiece on long-term loan. Unfortunately, I can't say which museum it is yet. Once we have made a deal with the owner of the painting, our first STO can start.

And are there any further plans?

Absolutely. We want to offer this financial solution to all museums in Europe. Our goal is to build a central platform for art investment, but always from our social purpose that art transcends individual property and belongs to a community.

Good luck! We look forward to the first purchase.

Thank you!



I'm Gwenn Nevelsteen,

you can call me