For those who are old enough to have lived through the dot-com era and thought, early on, that the “internet thing” was just a fad, you should pay close attention to what’s happening today with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are quickly changing the world by disrupting age-old industries, starting with your money.
Blockchain technology is complex and intricate and difficult to explain — similar to the concept of the internet back in the 90s. But we need to pay attention as it has the potential to upend some very big industries: banking, entertainment, insurance, pharma and voting, to name a few.
I am particularly interested in how this technology will affect the entertainment industry. As a music lover and a big fan of documentaries on musicians, I’ve heard the story of an artist or band being signed to a label and then realizing a few years later that they’d been cheated out of millions from their contract more than once.
What is interesting about blockchain technology, or “smart contracts,” is it’s inherently resistant to modification and serves as an open, distributed ledger that is verifiable and permanent. Given this transparency, no longer is there a need to rely on a person — behind closed doors — to count the dollars and deliver on the contract.
Last year, some of the regulatory bodies in the music industry began testing models that utilize blockchain technology for royalty collection and management of copyrights. Firms like Accenture are suggesting that there already is a 13.5 percent adoption rate of blockchains in the financial services industry.
Earlier this year, Harvard Business Review referred to blockchain as a foundational technology that can have enormous impact on both our economic and social infrastructure.
So while I am paying attention to the impact this can have on the music industry, the application of blockchain is wide and deep and disruptive. And we should all pay attention.