Blockchain technology. It’s a phrase you’ll hear a lot here at Zimrii. We pride ourselves on bringing you an innovative Blockchain enabled digital music platform, putting you centre stage in your music business. Thing is, to get how unique we are, you also have to get how we work. When you first Google it, Blockchain technology might seem more cryptic than current. So, we’re here to cut through the confusion with this handy guide to Blockchain technology.
“Chains with blocks, instead of metal loops?”
Blockchain is the brainchild of a person (or persons) by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. In October 2008, he published a paper describing Bitcoin and how it used a decentralised database – named Blockchain. The now infamous Bitcoin had a unique code that enabled it to rally against large banks, and the way they held money. It looked to cut out the capitalist middle-person by enabling person to person transactions in a secure and unhackable way.
To do this, Nakamoto had the need for a system that allowed the transaction to be completed even if one of the two parties was dishonest. He wanted to ensure a safe and valid exchange would take place, that neither of the parties could manipulate to their own gain. Thus, Blockchain technology was born.
Nakamoto himself, indeed, is a subject of much interest. For the sake of the blog, we’re going to refer to him in the singular, but his real identity uses myth as a shroud; so much so that it would not seem out of place in your William Gibson novel. Whilst he claims to be a Japanese male born in 1975, many people soon caught on that this may not necessarily be the case.
Occasional British English terms such as “bloody complicated” can be found in his ‘quirky’ code, and people have claimed he is everyone from bloggers, middle-aged Australian men, systems engineers living in California, sociologists, mathematicians and Space Exploration company Interns.
Despite his anonymity, he’s still the 44th richest person on the earth. Whilst it might seem strange to the Average Joe that Nakamoto keep himself anonymous, the group of the same name shares reasons for doing so. When you remove the need for the largest economy in the world, it’s probably best you keep your head down.
“So…no middleperson. Cool. How do I keep track of what I’ve sold?”
Blockchain is, in its simplest form, a huge database of every different transaction, edit, and rewrite that has happened to your thing. We’re going to explain it, but in a very easy way. And for our example, we’re going to use kittens*.
So, say you had a kitten, we’ll call him Snowdrop. Your friend Maisy, has a brother called Matthew. He loves cats and wants to buy Snowdrop, but you hear he recently fell on hard times and owes a lot of people money.
You wouldn’t want to give Matthew Snowdrop without him giving you the money first. Thing is, Matthew doesn’t want to give you the money before he gets Snowdrop, because he’s not got much of it. If you run off with the money, he won’t be able to afford another one.
“So, what’s the solution?”
The obvious thing to do, here, would be for you to give Snowdrop to Maisy. She’s your friend, after all. You could ask her to deliver Snowdrop, get the money off Matthew, then give it to you. Everyone wins, right? Wrong. Maisy is in a position of power here – she has Snowdrop AND the money. If she leaves town with both, there’s nothing your or Matthew can do. Snowball’s fate, when you run it through Maisy as a third party, rests on how honest Maisy really is.
In real-life, this is the function of your bank. Where it makes money, is fees, interest, charges etc. This is where the joy of Blockchain comes into play. When you remove Maisy, and replace her with Blockchain technology, both you and Matthew use a database made of ‘blocks’ of information about the currency exchange, with a timestamp, and a date – that is then added to Snowdrop’s chain of blocks that detail all his movement since he was born.
This database cannot take an edit, or get modified by anyone except you, as you’re creating it – assuring that when Matthew gives you the money it can’t be taken by anyone else; and when you give Matthew Snowdrop, he can’t be cat-napped. This database is not held by one person (Maisy). Instead, small pieces of it are stored in all different filing cabinets, around the world, and it doesn’t make sense unless you open all the drawers at once. It’s safe, quick, and secure – ensuring Matthew gets his kitten, and you get the cash!
“So, hang on. I feel like I’m using it already…”
You’re right! Wikipedia, Google Docs, WhatsApp and many more popular applications all use Blockchain technology!
“But what does it do with my music?”
However you spin it, at the end of the day, record companies are out to earn money. At Zimrri, we’re using Blockchain technology to help you earn your royalties in a fair, quick and indisputable manner. If your royalties are tied to a database that all of us own, you’ll bypass the long wait for payments to be calculated by third-party distribution and record labels. It also makes your music impossible to file-share, as every block will contain details of when it was modified, where, and who owns it. You’ll get paid every time someone new downloads your track, and you’ll avoid the pain of unresolved copyright issues, as you’ll be able to see instantly if another artist owned your track before performing it’s mirror image.
Sounds pretty sweet, right?
What do you use on a day to day basis that’s Blockchain technology?
Zimrii is an innovative music platform that allows you total control of your music business. Using Blockchain technology to register your Copyright and lock-down your ownership, Zimrii uses Smart Contracts and integrated crowdfunding features to help you connect with your audience and earn direct to artist – cutting away the outdated intermediary. It’s the twenty-first century music revolution!
Also published on Medium.