Hailed as the most important invention since the internet itself, does blockchain represent a new economic paradigm that could revolutionize e-commerce and make musicians rich again?
By: Ringo Bones
As the working principle behind bitcoin and related crypto-currencies, the blockchain’s distributed consensus model has been hailed during the last few years as the most important invention since the internet itself. A blockchain is essentially just a record, or ledger, of digital events – one that is “distributed”, or shared between many different parties. It can only be updated by consensus of a majority of participants in the system. And, once entered, information can never be erased. The bitcoin blockchain contains a certain and verifiable record of every single bitcoin transaction ever made.
To use conventional banking as an analogy, the blockchain is like a full history of banking transactions. Bitcoin transactions are entered chronologically in a blockchain just the way bank transactions are. Blocks, meanwhile, are like individual bank statements. Based on the bitcoin protocol, the blockchain database is shared by all nodes participating in a system. The full copy of the blockchain has records of every bitcoin transaction ever executed. It can this provide insight about facts like how much value belonged a particular address at any point in the past.
In the brave new world of illegal peer-to-peer music file-sharing via the internet, musicians are yet again be able to make a comfortable living yet again like they did via a rights management based on the blockchain model. The music industry lacks complete information about the rights holders of recorded musical works. These include performers, composers and songwriters. Blockchain technology can be used to provide the secure issuance and distribution of digital assets including listing and registration of musical works for its clients and helping collecting societies provide more transparency and efficiency to all market participants.