Bittunes 2.0 'Tamarind'
We have been planning the next version of Bittunes for well over a year.. There were always going to be some ‘must-have’ elements, like simple rights and transactions on a Blockchain and support for variable royalty splits to enable small Indie Labels to participate on the platform. But we will also roll out some surprise features that we are really excited about. We called this new version ‘Tamarind’, because we have consistently found that even the existing Bittunes app is very unique.. like a monotypic taxon, such as the Tamarind Tree. So, seeing as Bittunes 2.0 will be even more unique and special, we thought that this version needed a special name.
Bittunes 2.0 ‘Tamarind’ ~ Let’s talk about Blockchains
There will be a strong Blockchain component in Bittunes 2.0, but our overall strategy in this area might surprise some people. But let’s start from basics. We are hardcore Bitcoin Blockchain exponents. We believe that Bitcoin and its Blockchain are the pivotal technologies in this field, and we are strong supporters of Blockstream and their various initiatives to support and enhance the core elements of the Bitcoin blockchain. (Sidechains, Lightening Networks & Segregated Witness). However, we don’t think a Blockchain is the must have solution for all situations. Like any technology, it should be utilized only when and if it is needed.
We see some very specific uses for a Blockchain with regard to music, but we have quite a different approach to many other companies working in this area. We are not interested at all in helping Dinosaur industries shoe-horn outmoded systems onto a Blockchain, with the help of smart contracts, to help to perpetuate their business models. We believe that there is a huge opportunity for systemic renewal and doing a massive reset for music, so we have our eyes fixed firmly on the future, not the past.
Simplicity wins.. every time.
The Bitcoin Blockchain is a complex system, but that doesn’t mean that the transaction and rights data related to music that is embedded onto the Blockchain needs to also be complex. We think that there should be one primary global rights system for independent music (and this almost certainly is Creative Commons), and that this data, plus the transaction logic and log (history) that is encrypted and recorded on this Blockchain should be as simple and straight forward as possible. Like many industries that have been around for 50 -100 years the music industry has developed an incredibly complex set of rules and massively complex clusters of interdependent agencies all taking their cut. Sort of like a huge traffic jam on the freeway, we think the solution is obvious.. just drive around it.
There will inevitably be a massive blockchain for the world’s music..
With regard to a music Blockchain, the only reality that we feel comfortable with is that there should be a truly open Blockchain database for the world’s music but that no single company or group of companies should own it. We will help to make this happen in every way we can, but we will never try to control it. In fact, we simply see Bittunes as an extremely useful sorting mechanism sitting on top of this global blockchain for music, to help people find the best music for them. Crowd sourced, people-powered recommendations that are personalized for each individual, but not curated or controlled in a web silo is the goal here, and we have patents in development that address this challenge.
Some exciting solutions for street performers..
One of the things that we are most excited about and which we have been planning for some time are some dedicated solutions for street performers. These people show their dedication to music every day, but they have a number of challenges that are difficult to overcome. When they perform, if they are good, they generally attract a nice crowd, but pretty quickly the crowd disperses and they are lucky to pick up a hand full of coins. What if there was an easy way for them to build their fan base of supporters (like a busker’s CRM vehicle) and maybe even receive payments electronically. We have thought long and hard about these issues and feel that we have some interesting ideas that could really help these artists engage with their street audience and keep them engaged. This is another aspect of Bittunes 2.0 that we will begin to roll out in this next version.
The importance of Bitcoin as a potential global currency for music..
One of the amazing things about Bitcoin that is often overlooked is that it is already functioning as a unifying and effective global currency for music, albeit on a small scale. To fully appreciate what this means, it is probably advisable to set aside the rampant speculation in trading Bitcoin as a commodity and reflect on its ubiquity and its utility instead. The world has never had a global currency, and certainly nothing resembling a system with the properties of Bitcoin. Commodity speculation is the crudest and most basic interaction we can have with Bitcoin, and if that is all it is about, it may as well be oil, sugar or heroin. Bitcoin actually has a whole set of unique properties, and we feel that it is only when these begin to be fully leveraged will we see genuine demand for Bitcoin drive the exchange rate higher in a more sustainable and meaningful way.
Its not just about ‘payments’.. that is sooo Bitcoin 1.0
Bittunes has already proved that Bitcoin is an ideal medium of exchange to facilitate frictionless global participation in music sharing that has the potential to revolutionize digital content distribution. But for this idea to really take hold, we all have to stop seeing Bitcoin as either a commodity to trade, or simply an alternative payment mechanism. Bitcoin can facilitate ‘Monetized Super Distribution’.. where the user’s participation is driven by what they ‘earn’ not what they pay.
Bittunes 2.0, Tamarind, will have special features built in to help to amaze and educate a mass audience of non Bitcoin users as to the power and potential of this medium.