Blockchain - the music industry trust issue
Blockchain technology is – simply put – a mechanism for creating trust. A shared, trusted, public ledger that everyone can inspect but which no single user controls, blockchain lets people who have no particular confidence in each other collaborate without having to go through a neutral central authority. As The Economist puts it: “the spread of blockchain is bad for anyone in ‘the trust business’, the centralized institutions and bureaucracies, such as banks, clearing houses and government authorities that are deemed sufficiently trustworthy to handle transactions” - in the music industry, the equivalent of collecting societies and record labels.
Data – correct, clean, consistent and easily accessible – is the crucial foundation for any transactions and ledgers. The ambitious Global Repertoire Database is now a defunct initiative, but, as Charles Dixon of venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz notes: “the internet finally has a public database”, in the shape of blockchain technology.
What is stopping the music industry from adopting blockchain technology to organize royalty payments, licensing agreements, and data?
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