We’re all living in an increasingly connected and digital world. Two out of every three internet users now own a smartphone and are consuming record amounts of digital content from videos, articles, photographs, music, art and more. However, the majority of digital content is still consumed either for free or through ads-based platforms, with the least amount of value captured by the actual creators.
Digital content is still expected to be free by many, and so where does this leave the creators?
The digital ecosystem can be seen as both a blessing and a curse for creators. On one hand, the accessibility and reach of a digital creation is boundless, enabling a creation to be liked, tweeted and shared to millions around the world. However, this same accessibility and intangibility makes digital creations difficult to manage from a rights and ownership perspective and the ability to be easily duplicated drives down the perceived value of a digital creation. These problems have long plagued digital creators.
However, with the rise of blockchain technology, many of these problems may finally be addressed and help creators take back control and better monetize their work.
Blockchain (Authenticity, Ownership and Scarcity)
If you’re new to blockchain technology, there are a number of good articles you can read here, here and here to get you up to speed. In short…
A blockchain is a public database, that isn’t owned by a central authority, with the unique property that once something is set in it, it’s impossible to change.
So, why is this important? It turns out this already has meaningful implications in enabling a decentralized financial system (i.e Bitcoin), and the same properties are equally valuable for digital creations.
Authenticity. Any data stored on a blockchain is immutable. This important property allows a creator to digitally sign and create a permanent record of authenticity that goes along with their creation. Unlike in the physical world, this proof of authenticity is unforgeable and is easy to attribute the original creation back to the creator.
Ownership. A blockchain also enables true ownership of a digital creation by maintaining a permanent record that ties a digital creation to its rightful owner, which again is unforgeable. Digital content has always been intangible due to its nature of being easily replicated and shared. But, with a blockchain, the record of ownership can’t be replicated. Ownership is an innate human need that when enabled will increase the perceived value of a digital creation.
Scarcity. Finally, a creator can also ensure scarcity of their creations by creating only a limited number of authentic digital creations that can be owned. This is particularly exciting as it further increases the value of a digital creation, allowing a creator to capture the majority of a creation’s value up front.
It’s these unique capabilities that have given rise to digital collectibles such as CryptoKitties, RarePepe and other provably rare digital art, which are being bought, traded and collected for significant sums of money, like a physical collectible.
These are early and in many cases novel uses of this technology, but we believe the future of a blockchain-enabled digital content universe goes far beyond CryptoKitties and RarePepe. We imagine a world where you can truly own and collect any digitally-native creation, including: art, books, characters and items within games, sports memorabilia and more, just as you would a physical keepsake today.
To enable this movement, today we’re launching MakersPlace, a new platform that makes it easy to create and sell unique digital creations, using blockchain technology.
We believe the digital world of the future needs more empowered creators. So, we’re helping creators take full advantage of blockchain technology to better protect their work from day one and ultimately make more money by enabling true ownership and scarcity of their creations. We’re offering the following tools to start:
- Easy-to-use tools to ascribe authenticity and ownership of a digital creation.
- Customizable storefronts to help you sell your unique creations to your existing audiences and fans.
3. Tools to help distribute your creations to other digital content marketplaces.
We have a number of amazing creators already on MakersPlace, such as ArtWithFlo, Lisa Ryder, and Twirble who are for the first time selling their digital artwork to be owned, collected and shared.
We’re early on in our journey, but we’re extremely excited about what blockchain technology can do to enable a brighter and sustainable future for creators, while providing the world with new and fun ways to own and interact with digital content.
Getting In Touch
We’re currently in invite-only, but if you’re a creator and would like an invite, you can reach out to us on Discord or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, if you’re excited about the future of blockchain and digital content, or want to get involved, we’d love to hear from you as well.