Blockchain

Binded Aims to Make Copyright ‘Seamless’ on Web

San Francisco-based startup Binded on Thursday launched its new, blockchain-based platform to allow artists to register their authorship of their works at the moment of creation. It also announced a $950,000 fundraising round led by Mistletoe, Asahi Shimbun, and Vectr Ventures, bringing its total fundraising to date to $1.5 million.

Formerly known as Blockai, Binded allows artists to upload images to their private “copyright vault,” where it’s given a unique fingerprint identifying them as the author. That information is then saved permanent on the Bitcoin blockchain. The artist then receives a digital certificate with proof of authorship. 

Token of My Success

Earlier this month, blockchain solutions provider Tokenly introduced token.FM, a direct-to-fan blockchain-based music platform. Tokenly plans to launch an initial trial of the new platform in early May, along with an Series A fundraising round. The first artist to make her music available on token.FM is singer/songwriter Tatiana Moroz, who introduced the first blockchain-based artist token, Tatiana Coin, in 2014. We asked Tatiana to share her personal story of how she came to embrace blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and how she got involved with Tokenly.

By Tatiana Moroz
Entrepreneurship and managing your career can be a problem that many musicians struggle with. As an independent artist, I know I have. Upon graduation from Berklee, I felt prepared to make my way into the industry, especially with the advent of the DIY tools offered by the internet age. However, what I found was that even though we had taken some steps forward, there was a long way to go to true artistic autonomy.

It wasn’t just the overwhelming amount of work that had to go into creating a career, the new (and unpaid) full time job I was given as master of my own fate, the decision fatigue, and the standard frustrations of a highly competitive industry. The main problems I saw were the industry’s many walled gardens and difficulty accessing financial resources. I also felt that music like the 60’s and 70’s revolution folk that had inspired me, no longer had a place in the world of boy bands and porno pop.

Still, I persevered. Finding my niche, I performed around the country doing political events. Yet I found the DC world to be divisive and fruitless and was quickly disillusioned.

There was a light at the end of the tunnel though, and a technology I fell in love with. I became involved with Bitcoin in 2012, and immersed myself in the space by 2013. In early 2014, I looked at how this technology could be adapted for artists.

By June 2014, with help from Adam B. Levine, host of Let’s Talk Bitcoin and now CEO of Tokenly, I created the first ever artist cryptocurrency Tatiana Coin. The goal was to create an artist specific, personally branded token that would function a bit like a collectible item, but also like a digital gift certificate.

These coins were like flexible rewards. You received a digital token that you could trade, rent, sell, and use at any time. If you wanted to send $5 worth of TC to your friends, there was nothing stopping you. It was also a great way to onboard people into the admittedly challenging cryptocurrency world.

After the initial launch, I put the funds we raised toward recording my new album, “Keep the Faith,” which I put out in March. While the recording part was easy, we wanted to use this technological model for others, and that was the tricky part. It was a little like having a car but without roads or a roadmap. So while I was speaking and singing at conferences and sharing my story, a team assembled under Adam’s leadership, and Tokenly and Token.fm were born.

One of the innovations we have created helps bring scarcity back to the digital space through the creation of tokenized albums. Traditionally, if you buy a record on iTunes, you can’t share it or resell it. However, tokenization of records allows for sharing, trading, and selling of digital music, which gives true ownership back to the fan. Artists can also set their licensing parameters, include their songwriting splits, and automate the sales of their music and merch for retail, commercial, and wholesale use.

Blockchain technology is not just for artists though. It is something the whole music industry should get behind. I have many colleagues who work in music businesses and are frustrated that, instead of helping artists reach their audiences and create meaningful connections, they get bogged down with a costly and time intensive administrative process. Blockchain could change all of that.

Crowdfunding artists via blockchain would allow record-label resources to be focused on growth rather than publishing administration and tracking payments. It would also take pressure off the labels and allow them be more risky and experimental with the acts they sign.

With Adam and the Tokenly team, we are now working toward becoming protocol agnostic. It was important to me that artists have control, and not get locked into another platform. That’s the beauty of crypto though, once someone has your coin, you are forever bound together (till they get rid of the coin anyway), regardless of the platform. So, while we don’t know which blockchain will be the winner, we’ve created an ecosystem where artists can thrive as entrepreneurs and build stronger bonds with their audience.

I think that’s what’s so compelling about Bitcoin and blockchain: the ability to retain control over what is yours, and at the same time, be truly linked to anyone in the world with an internet connection. It is less likely to be corrupted by the touch of man, as math is unyielding in its dependability. It’s more secure, it’s censorship resistant, and more transparent.  I hope that it also allows for more freedom and diversity in music messages.

When artists supported by their fans, and are able to reflect the place they come from, they can offer a real and genuine experience, and that leads to better art. On a personal note, I hope that more liberty in creativity will push our world toward a more peaceful direction.

Tatiana Moroz is an independent singer-songwriter and Founder/CEO of CryptoMediaHub. Her latest album, “Keep the Faith” is available for download from Tokenly and iTunes, and can be streamed from Soundcloud

Rights-tech Startups Driving Blockchain Investment

The data-visualization folks at Quid have been crunching some numbers on investment in  blockchain applications and they’ve come up with some interesting charts.

The researchers identified 450 venture-backed companies using some form of blockchain technology. And as you would expect, the biggest recipients of VC money to date have been Bitcoin miners, cryptocurrency exchanges, and companies involved in financial services of one sort or another.

But when Quid stripped out the fin-tech firms a very different picture emerged. Four of the top 10 recipients are rights-tech companies, including ascribe, artCOA, Monegraph, and Revelator.

The scale of the investments in non-finance related startups is far smaller than in fin-tech firms, of course. The top rights-tech company on the list, ascribe, has raised about $6 million to date, compared to more than $130 million for 21 Inc., which sells Bitcoin mining computers. But as Quid notes, its analysis “suggests that blockchain has big potential to transform a variety of industries, particularly those that rely heavily on data authentication and verification, including healthcare and digital media.”

 

Verizon filed for a blockchain patent 

Business Insider obtained a copy of the US patent, filed on May 10, for a passcode blockchain that Verizon has apparently been working on for three years. The patent relates to digital content — think an e-book or a digital-music or video file.

According to the filing, “The DRM (digital rights management) system may maintain a list of passcodes in a passcode blockchain. The passcode blockchain may store a sequence of passcodes associated with the particular digital content and may indicate a currently valid passcode. For example, a first passcode may be assigned to a first user and designated as the valid passcode. If the access rights are transferred to a second user, a second passcode may be obtained and added to the blockchain, provided to the second user, and designated as the valid passcode. Thus, the first passcode may no longer be considered valid.”

Source: Verizon filed for a blockchain patent – Business Insider

TAO Network Partners With Boogie Shack Music Group to Offer Blockchain Solution

TAO Network, the cryptocurrency based smart contract DAO platform specializing in offering solutions to the music industry has announced its latest partnership with the leading music publishing company, Boogie Shack Music Group.

The partnership will allow the TAO Network team to gain full access to the artists signed up with Boogie Shack along with the masters to create blockchain solutions for the music industry. Having complete access to the collections will allow the platform to implement TAO of Music project for its collaborator. The resulting product will be an artist focused blockchain solution for the music industry, with Boogie Shack Music Group as the early adopter.

Source: TAO Network Partners With Boogie Shack Music Group to Offer Blockchain Solution

These Four Technologies May Finally Put an End to Art Forgery

Digital art is increasingly gaining traction in the contemporary art world. Phillips’s last two “Paddles ON!” auctions, which showcased digital formats ranging from GIFs to video game screenshots, have been well received. Blue-chip galleries are on board too; Pace Art + Technology, a new 20,000-square-foot space in Silicon Valley, is dedicated solely to digital media. Digital art collectives—Japan’s teamLab being the most prominent—have also sprung up.

Most importantly, prices are rising. In 2003, Cory Arcangel’s Super Mario Clouds, a wall projection birthed from a hacked Nintendo chip, sold for $3,000. Last year, an edition of that same piece went for $630,000. Still, the question remains: How can a gallery sell digital content as investment-grade art when it already exists online and can be copied like a Google Doc? The answer is blockchain, the same computer technology that serves as the public ledger for bitcoin transactions around the globe.

Source: These Four Technologies May Finally Put an End to Art Forgery

Blockchain s Automated Contracts Are Dangerously Hard to Verify 

Smart contracts, which automate parts of payment agreements, are the key to using blockchain technology in complex financial transactions. However, there are still open questions and concerns about how smart contracts operate in the real world and whether they can be trusted.

Because smart contracts reduce complexity there are fewer reconciliation issues, which increases efficiency and reduces costs. But how do you see and understand the finer details of a smart contract when the terms of the contract are expressed in code?

Source: Blockchain s Automated Contracts Are Dangerously Hard to Verify | PaymentsSource

Blockchain Startup DECENT.ch Rolls out Development Plan and Roadmap 

The development plan and roadmap of the DECENT Network is now available for ICO investors and others to learn more about how the team plans to fully decentralized and independent Blockchain media distribution system.

From its roots derived form a simple Blockchain conversation a couple of years ago between two friends impressed with Bitcoin technology – and now to a courageous worldwide project to build the first Blockchain-driven digital content distribution system, the road has been challenging and tough, but is now coming to fruition.

Source: Blockchain Startup DECENT.ch Rolls out Development Plan and Roadmap – Blockchain News

The blockchain future is here. And it needs a few good names

Although the term blockchain might sound like a torture device, you might know it from another source: Bitcoin. Blockchain technology is the foundation and principal innovation of bitcoin, the dark web’s infamous cryptocurrency. Blockchain is also the foundation of Ethereum, which some see as a successor to bitcoin.

So this quick decoding not only reveals that The DAO is a venture capital fund that tracks its money via a blockchain technology — a database — named Ethereum. It also shows how the meanings of these three names are at best confounding and at worst unnerving, evoking big government, immateriality and darkness both individually and as a group.

Source: The blockchain future is here. And it needs a few good names. – Recode

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