I guess there’s hardly any topic in the intersection of economics and technology that’s been discussed more than Blockchain within the last months. No question, there’s a good amount of doubt and fear going with that hype. And there’s looking forward to its open source approach.


The Dot Blockchain Project is no road block

When I look at the Dot Blockchain Music Project of Benji Rogers and the team that’s gathered around him — well, I’m impressed.

They are willing and daring to do it publicly. Or, as Rogers says: „pants down“. The project has an open source approach in every aspect. They are making remarkably good progress. The roadmap includes about seven weeks to code the very first prototype. With a mere two weeks to go, Rogers mentioned it might be done faster.

In other words, we might get to see it at Cologne’s c/o pop Convention by the end of August. (Looking forward!)


Time to act and move

It’s just a first iteration. But finally, someone in this business dares to act instead of talk.

Nevertheless, negotiations and talks between stakeholders will be one core step in getting the Blockchain model to work for music industries. You can’t circumvent it. I fear that to take mcuh longer than the coding.

Ever attended a meeting of broadcasters trying to find a metadata standard? Jeeez… I tell you…

But the message is: Look, this is the prototype. Stripped down. Yet including UX. It’s a proof. You can touch it.

If you believe in something that is as big as this you need…

  • confidence
  • proof
  • …and balls


Hide away… Here comes disruption right again

Anyone who is a bit familiar with music business (and almost any other business transitioning from analogue/physical to digital) knows what it feels if someone mentions “disruption”. It’s that eye-rolling moment when everyone goes: “Not again!”.

But Benji Rogers knows it better. For the first time, significant technology in music industry gets developed and rolled out in the public, based on an open source approach. Transparency first. Keep all people involved.

It’s the only way to do it. It finds acceptance.


The change

Rogers is open about the consequences. We have to understand that the Blockchain model is to change the underlying structure of business fundamentally.

It’s not comparable to changing the operating system. It’s even more than relevant than changing the protocol of internet.

Roger’s comparison of replacing the rails on which we use to run our trains is a better one. It is a brilliant metaphor for the reliability, stability and persistency of what is about to be exchanged — and hopefully improved.


Openness in terms of open source

There are two facts that Rogers mentions in his most recent article that me jump up and cheer. First, the fact how many people from various parts of the music industry are willing to support the project.

The most important and essential feature though is its open structure. Open in terms of open sourced technology, which is the logical consequence of being open throughout the process.

This is an incredible advantage compared to good ol’ Global Repertoire Database (R.I.P.). GRD was planned with administration limited to PROs only and no open interfaces to external developers. A “global” database without music that’s not licensed by PROs. Classic fail. A tightly controlled system.

If the Blockchain model envisioned by Benji Rogers and his team is anywhere like what he described than it’s completely different from the GRD that failed.


Other perspectives

It’s always a good thing to find others studying and testing similar approaches like you. So, if you’re sceptical about Blockchain, this might help.

The World Economic Forum’s study “The future of financial infrastructure” (12 August 2016, 130p)…

suggest[s] this technology has the potential to ‘live-up to the hype’ and reshape financial services, but requires careful collaboration with other emerging technologies, regulators, incumbents and additional stakeholders to be successful.

Allianz SE, one of the world largest insurance providers, ran a test pilot for the use of the Blockchain model in a catastrophe scenario. The result was that all processes could be considerably accelerated.

(c) All rights reserved by Wolfgang Senges. If you would like to make use of the text or parts of it please get in touch with me.