Business 17 January 2019

Dan Taylor

Bitfury ventures into blockchain-powered music business

Blockchain mining equipment manufacturer Bitfury has announced the launch of a new open platform aimed at the music industry, the group’s first foray into music and entertainment.

Known as Bitfury Surround, the platform aims to streamline rights management, while providing blockchain tools for better control of the often complex arrangements between artists, management and fans. The platform will have the capability to handle legal agreements through an interoperable and auditable system, as well as allowing for the secure recording and movement of rights on the blockchain.

Surround will also deliver scope for payments, timestamping and collaborative ownership, to reflect the often multi-layered structure of artist and industry agreements.

In a post published on Medium, the group said the platform would benefit the entire music industry ecosystem, including handling copyright, connectivity and management.

According to Bitfury, “The Surround platform will enable the entire music entertainment industry to streamline operations through secure transfer of copyright assets, streamlined connectivity as well as better monitoring and management systems.”

“To do so, the platform will create a fully interoperable digital ecosystem for sharing and monetizing intellectual property and enhance economic opportunity by providing transparent management functions and trusted data,” it noted.

Bitfury CEO Valery Vavilov said the platform would boost accountability, in a bid to improve conditions for artists through an open, more transparency platform.

“The music entertainment industry has evolved into a complex, competitive, technology-driven environment that suffers from a severe lack of transparency, Vavilov said. “We want to champion artists and help incentivize the growth of the entire industry through the creation of this open, blockchain-based ecosystem.”

The move marks another change in direction from Bitfury, as the firm continues to expand beyond its traditional roots in crypto mining. With a number of crypto mining companies struggling and going bust, Bitfury is among those to have pivoted to other opportunities in other sectors in a bid to remain relevant.

The platform will initially launch from bases in Amsterdam and Berlin, with plans for operations in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Seoul and Moscow in the near future.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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