Smart Contracts

What a Blockchain for Music Really Means

music_splitsBlockchain technology is what enables Bitcoin to allow financial exchange without a middleman. It is effectively a decentralized database where participants follow a protocol to record the ownership of tokens of value and their exchange, without the need for a central entity like a bank to provide trust.

An imaginative person will jump to extend the metaphors of such a system to other domains, and of course to the music industry. A music blockchain would be a single place to publish all information about who made what song, without having to trust a third-party organization.

However, before contemplating such a solution, it is important to distinguish between two distinct but often conflated problems in the music industry—because one must be solved before the other.

Source: Mine Labs

Bitcoin and Public Blockchains Will Power the Smart Contracts Revolution

As the study of ‘smart contracts’ went from strange academic curiosity to the cutting-edge of FinTech, most market observers are still wondering just how this revolution in value transfer works.

Smart contracts, for those who still don’t know, are small bits of code attached to an asset, which determines where and how the underlying asset will perform based on events in the network. The promise of financial instruments that are routed through the economy autonomously, and without need for intervention by a custodian, is immense.But exactly how does such a technology work? And what makes a smart contract different from similar solutions for financial logic that have been commonplace for decades in our modern banking system?

Source: CoinDesk

Hype Springs Eternal for Blockchains

Normally, it is Simon Taylor’s job to persuade sceptical colleagues at Barclays that rapid technological change will disrupt the bank’s business. So it comes as something of a surprise to have to dampen the excitement about the blockchain. “It’s quite silly. I get ten invitations to speak at a conference every day,” he says. “The technology will have real impact, but it will take time.”

The blockchain is the technology underpinning bitcoin, a digital currency with a chequered history. It is an example of a “distributed ledger”: in essence, a database that is maintained not by a single actor, such as a bank, but collaboratively by a number of participants.

Their respective computers regularly agree on how to update the database using a “consensus mechanism”, after which the modifications they have settled on are rendered unchangeable with the help of complex cryptography. Once information has been immortalised in this way, it can be used as proof of ownership. The blockchain can also serve as the underpinning for “smart contracts”—programs that automatically execute the promises embedded in a bond, for instance.

Source: The Economist

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