Ethereum, Bitcoin and Quatloos (or: How will Ethereum revolutionize the music industry?)

Johannes

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#1
Found this article about how the blockchain technology could change the music industry in the future --> https://media.consensys.net/how-wil...industry-watch-ujo-break-it-down-63f7503368fb


We believe the biggest problem in the music industry is that artists give too much away for too little. Ownership in works and recordings are given to publishers and labels in exchange for a quick advance and increasingly less return. These large conglomerates use closed systems for identifying artists and works, obscuring their payment streams. As more and more music is created, the artist’s identity is spread thinly across the web. Artists have lost control in the digital age.

Using the Ethereum blockchain, Ujo Music returns control over artistic identity back to the artist.

Ujo Music provides a digital container where artists can store all of their digital assets. Ujo Artists will have creative control of an elegant artist page where they can deliver an ideal fan experience for their content. All content uploaded on Ujo is tied directly to an artist’s identity, proving their ownership, and third parties wishing to utilize this content can license and pay the artist directly without any intermediary being involved. Unlike existing music platforms on the web, Ujo does not own or control any of the content uploaded. Users are free to bring their ‘guitar case’ wherever they want on the publicly owned network.
What do you think? Could this work?
 

mjp

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#2
The problem with blockchain is every transaction has to be verified, which takes a shitload of computing power. If you've ever read about Bitcoin you can see what lengths those Bitcoin miners go to to verify transactions (and earn Bitcoins). They have entire server farms dedicated to it, and the cost for power almost negates the profit they make "mining," or verifying transactions.

Now if you think about the relatively small number of Bitcoin transactions that happen every day now, and compare that to how many music buying transactions could potentially happen if buying music depended on blockchain -- I think the Internet might grind to a halt under a huge blockchain network like that. I don't know. That's based on my admittedly shallow knowledge of blockchain/Bitcoin.

And you can bet that BMI and ASCAP will not just let go of everything they control now and say, "Welp, okay, I guess we can all go home now, it's been real."

In other words, without reading those articles, I can see a few substantial obstacles. But maybe I'll be convinced when I have time to read them.
 

Johannes

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#3
I also know/understand little about the blockchain technology, but what I gather is that Ethereum compared to bitcoin uses a different kind of protocol and "Smart Contracts" which could theoretically eliminate the middle man (label/streaming service) completely and the consumer would buy the download directly from the artist via a transaction of "tokens". Or something :D

It's interesting, some people seem to think that this blockchain technology is now like the internet was, say 1994 ... everybody got a feeling that it's going to be huge but nobody could exactly foresee Google or Facebook or the iPhone.
 

mjp

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#4
Blockchain is interesting technology and it is the "1994" of it right now. Interesting new technology is funny though. I work with it every day, and the problem you have with adoption of a new technology is getting people to understand it. I made a very basic cartoon to explain cloud web server systems, and two years later, people still don't understand it. The same thing applies to other new technology that we sell. What happens is a few nerds understand it and want it, and everyone else says, "Yeah, I dunno bro, not for me."

Which is why McDonald's won't take your Bitcoin, and why 99.999% of the people in the world don't even try to use Bitcoin. Because they don't understand it. The blockchain technology can be hidden under the covers so people don't have to see it or understand it to buy something using it. The problem arises when you try to distribute a system very widely, but the only people who will host part of it are the nerds who understand it. For a massive blockchain network to work you'd have to have people who don't understand it hosting "nodes."

It's certainly do-able though. That's what Napster and LimeWire were, distributed networks, and people didn't have to understand how they worked to use them. I'm sure someone will figure it out. If you watch the show Silicon Valley (which is most excellent and very funny, by the way) that's what they are trying to do right now: create a network that stores data on people's cell phones. It's fiction and comedy, but it's also probably going to be reality sooner than later. If not exactly that, something like it.

But - and there's always a but - the "legacy technologies" (the aforementioned BMI and ASCAP and Apple and everyone else that makes money selling music right now), well, those people are not going to give up their sweet, easy income stream without a bloody fight. You see what they did to Napster and pretty much all music file sharing technology. If they were smart - and history has shown us again and again that they are not - they'd be all over this kind of thing. Like they should have been all over early music file sharing technology. But odds are they will chose to fight it rather than embrace it.

And there's your main hurdle. Getting the technology to work will be child's play compared to prying music distribution out of the hands of the drooling monkeys who control it now.
 
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Johannes

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#5
Blockchain is also very difficult to understand as a non professional with zero knowledge about databases and shit.

That's why I think it's kind of tragic-funny that a lot of people try to hord as many crypto coins as they can now hoping to cash out big in the future when something gets established as a de facto currency while claiming they strictly believe in the technology :D ... when you read through the crypto forums it gets almost religious at times.

I read this article (it's in German, so no use linking it) which tries to explain what Blockchain is and cites five areas in which it could change things or starts to already. One of this was the music industry with startups like this Ujo Music. Agree tho that it likely would/will go down the same way as with Napster - the established industry will ignore it, then fight it, then be fucked over by it if it ever hits the masses with easy access from your phone.

That's a cool cartoon :D Even cloud storage btw is one of the areas where the Blockchain could revolutionize, they say. In this article I read they cited something called Siacoin which is a crypto currency for a "decentralized private cloud built on blockchain" --> http://sia.tech

You can trade Siacoins already with Bitcoins (and even Dollars/Euros, I believe) and hope to become a billionaire in 2025. The mind boggles.
 
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mjp

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#6
Yeah, Sia is kind of doing what the Silicon Valley show is talking about, only Sia doesn't work on phones. Unfortunately it's tied to their own crypto-currency, Siacoin, which has the same inherent problems that Bitcoin has.

Anyone who wants to become a Bitcoin billionaire and isn't already halfway there is probably too late. The number of Bitcoins that can be created is strictly limited by design. Unlike the currency most countries use now, there will never be an unlimited or infinite number of Bitcoins. There's some kind of forking or splitting that takes place, or is going to take place - who the hell knows. To hold and spend a Bitcoin (or Siacoin or any other crypto-currency) requires 20 hours a week of research and education, and ain't nobody got time for that shit.

I mean, I already have a job, thanks.
 

Pogue Mahone

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#7
Which is why McDonald's won't take your Bitcoin, and why 99.999% of the people in the world don't even try to use Bitcoin. Because they don't understand it.
I don't understand what stands behind the value of a Bitcoin. Which is why I don't trust it. These huge markets swings just show how there's nothing to backup a Bitcoin in value. But if you can explain what's behind the value of a Bitcoin, I might buy into it. I confess to not understanding it. To me it's a pyramid scheme.
 

mjp

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#8
what's behind the value of a Bitcoin...
The Bitcoin exchange market. So, in other words, nothing.

But then what stands behind the dollars in your pocket? A government? Trump could sign a paper tomorrow with that dick-waving, cartoonish signature of his, and your dollars could become worthless. A long time ago you could take your paper notes to a federal bank and get gold or silver for them, but not anymore.

People who study economies or do banking for a living can explain what's behind all of these currencies, but those explanations are just words. The dollars have value because we all agree that they do. If we stop agreeing on that they will lose their value. Same with Bitcoin.
 

Johannes

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#9
Yeah, it's always the argument with Fiat money when discussing Bitcoin that Dollars/Euros have no inherent value either. If the country you live in goes bankrupt, if there is a war or hyperinflation for whatever reason, your money is just paper.

From what I understand the novelty of the Blockchain technology (behind Bitcoin and all the Cryptocurrencies) is that it solves the so called Byzantine fault tolerance:

One example of BFT in use is bitcoin, a peer-to-peer digital currency system. The bitcoin network works in parallel to generate a chain of Hashcash style proof-of-work. The proof-of-work chain is the key to overcome Byzantine failures and to reach a coherent global view of the system state.
It's (almost?) impossible to manipulate or change a system built on blockchain technology afterwards. Also it's 100% (?) transparent since every transaction is forever saved in the blockchain and you can view it.

If that's true, it could theoretically be used for good idealistic causes like, say, an Electoral system based on blockchain technology where it would be impossible to change or manipulate votes.

Kind of telling of human psychology that the first thing to do with this technology was to create a currency which then was used to buy illegal shit on the net :D
 
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mjp

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#10
The blockchain voting system is a great idea. Politicians would oppose it (because they oppose everything they don't understand, like queer people and science), but it could be revolutionary.
Kind of telling of human psychology that the first thing to do with this technology was to create a currency which then was used to buy illegal shit on the net
A lot of technology in the last half of the 20th century was really moved forward by "vice." Meaning pornographers popularized home video and pornographers popularized the Internet. Both of those vehicles have progressed way past being platforms for sex content, but the sex content really gave them an early boost.

Before sex it was the military pushing technology forward. I mean, they created the Internet. Kind of accidentally, but they created it. For my money I'd rather see sex and buying heroin on the dark net moving technology forward than the military. I don't see, at any time in history, any altruistic technological progress where anything that can be sold or used as a weapon is concerned.

The first printing presses were used to print bibles, the most effective tool of oppression ever devised by humans. Then later some of those presses rebelled and shook things up, agitating for freedom and equality and rights and whatnot. The same thing with all the technologies we're coming up with now. Whatever the inventors had in mind, the people have ideas of their own.

It's wonderful!
And it's awful.
Just like people. ;)
 

Johannes

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#12
Found this article about the (possible) future of blockchain technology, which sounds quite valid to me: https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-truth-about-blockchain
https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-truth-about-blockchain
“Smart contracts” may be the most transformative blockchain application at the moment. These automate payments and the transfer of currency or other assets as negotiated conditions are met. For example, a smart contract might send a payment to a supplier as soon as a shipment is delivered. A firm could signal via blockchain that a particular good has been received—or the product could have GPS functionality, which would automatically log a location update that, in turn, triggered a payment. We’ve already seen a few early experiments with such self-executing contracts in the areas of venture funding, banking, and digital rights management.

The implications are fascinating. Firms are built on contracts, from incorporation to buyer-supplier relationships to employee relations. If contracts are automated, then what will happen to traditional firm structures, processes, and intermediaries like lawyers and accountants? And what about managers? Their roles would all radically change. Before we get too excited here, though, let’s remember that we are decades away from the widespread adoption of smart contracts. They cannot be effective, for instance, without institutional buy-in. A tremendous degree of coordination and clarity on how smart contracts are designed, verified, implemented, and enforced will be required. We believe the institutions responsible for those daunting tasks will take a long time to evolve. And the technology challenges—especially security—are daunting.
 

mjp

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#13
the technology challenges—especially security—are daunting.
The problem is - as it always is - that there is no security.

As soon as a technology is in wide use, criminals start to look for ways to exploit it or break it or use it to leverage blackmail. And really, the technology doesn't even have to be in wide use. They've already done it with Bitcoin. There was a half billion dollar hack, and many lesser, but still significant, heists.

Any hacker will tell you security is a myth. So the question becomes, how much are we willing to risk? So far the answer seems to be: just about everything. So who knows.

But the day is coming when hackers are going to be responsible for something very, very bad happening. Not just a robbery or theft - "very bad" like blacking out an entire country for an extended period of time, or controlling an election (though it seems that may have already happened). But it won't be until the very bad thing happens that anyone will really start taking security seriously.

Not that they'll be able to solve the problems, but at least they'll take them seriously. ;)
 

mjp

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#14
Anyone who invested $100 in Ethereum when they read the first post in this thread on June 14th (7 months ago) would now have $285.

It gets worse. ;)
If you bought $100 in Ethereum just one year ago, it would now be worth $12,250.
If you invested that $100 two years ago, you'd have $82,400 now.
Three years ago...it didn't exist.

$100 in bitcoin bought when this thread started is now $350.
$100 in Litecoin bought when this thread started is now $555.

For what it's worth.

Where I work, bitcoin going over $1,000 for the first time (less than one year ago) was a big topic of conversation. The consensus was if you weren't in it by then you were too late. Now it's at $11,190.

Is it over? Has it all peaked? Are you the betting type?
 

Johannes

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#15
I think bitcoin will rise as a technology. It will never replace conventional money like Dollars or Euros (that's one theory) but it will establish itself as a parallel form of anonymous (or pseudonymous) "Digital Cash" for which the demand is huge.

If, and that's a big if, there is no other Cryptocurrency coming on that solves the problems bitcoin currently struggles with and makes bitcoin the myspace of cryptos. But cryptocurrencies in some form or other are definitely here to stay, that's my uneducated guess.

Price has recently dropped but huge innovations are on the horizon like Lightning Network and Schnorr Signatures, from what I understand. If they are implemented (and work) shit might skyrocket. Or not. Who knows :D

I think the whole blockchain stuff is fascinating.
 

mjp

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#16
We're getting ready to move so I'm unloading a lot of stuff on eBay and Craigslist. Selling things is only marginally less annoying than trying to give them away. So I'm going through the usual back and forth with people who are super interested and then disappear, or offer you $50 for a $200 item and then insult you when you say 'no thanks.' Then someone asks if they can pay with Bitcoin. And I thought, well, if he's goofy enough to try to buy something off Craigslist with Bitcoin, let's see what it's like.

Guy (kid) comes over tonight and the first thing he says is, "I have to plug my computer in for a minute, it died on the way over," so already it's annoying, but I show him where he can plug in in the garage, because that's where the stuff he's buying is, and we're talking, waiting for his computer to get enough juice to start, and finally it starts up and he is clicking around and says, "I have to do a transfer first from Ethereum to Bitcoin."

I say, "Just send Ethereum if that's what you've got," and he says, "Well, I only have part of it there, the other part is in Bitcoin." So I wait while he does a transfer, then I have to email him my Bitcoin address because he can't scan the QR code, and that takes a few minutes, and finally, after about 20 minutes, he says, "There, done," and he points to a line in a program that shows the transaction. I'm thinking, great, let's get this over with. He says, "Well, I'll start taking this stuff to my van..." and since I wasn't born yesterday, I say, "No, not yet. Let's wait for it."

So I wait for it to show up in my account. And wait, and wait. 20 minutes go by. 30, 40, and we're talking and I'm learning all about his life and the art he makes, and he's pawing through the stuff he "bought," and finally I say, "Okay, forget it. Just take it. I can't wait anymore." At that point I didn't care if I ever get the 0.0130 bitcoin. I'll take the $149 loss just to go in the house and have this be over with. I help him drag the stuff out to his van, then he comes back to get his computer, and finally, after more than an hour, he's leaving, and he says, "Text me or email me when you get it." And I'm thinking, sure dude, whatever, just leave with your free stuff, I'm hungry for a corndog.

Anyway, almost two hours after he sent it, it showed up in my account. So now I have 0.0130 of a bitcoin, and as you can see, it couldn't have been easier.
 

Johannes

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#17
:D

Couple of hours waiting time for a transaction to be confirmed is pretty much standard at the present moment, I believe. Also depends on your wallet and how high the fees are, or something. With some wallets you can choose the amount of fee yourself, with others you can't. These troubles should be solved when Lightning comes (from what I understand).

You are one of the few people I know who actually bought or sold real shit with bitcoin. Most people just buy and hodl hoping to become billionaires in the future or buy and then sell in a panic when the price dips.

To actually use it as a currency is pretty rare from what I understand, not least because of the volatility at the present moment. There is at least one bar in Vienna I read about where you can pay your beer in bitcoin, tho :D

Being this kid I'd been surprised that some guy who sells me stuff out of his garage is accepting cryptos for it.

Or maybe I'm just a hick and in LA shit like this already goes down every day, like zero fucks given: "Yeah man whatever, just send me some bitcoin".
 
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mjp

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#19
Being this kid I'd been surprised that some guy who sells me stuff out of his garage is accepting cryptos for it.
He was. I asked him if he had a lot of success using Bitcoin for Craigslist buys and he said "No, you're the first."

The time needed to complete a transaction is the stumbling block now, for sure. It's not viable as currency, only as an investment. And unfortunately for Bitcoin, as you mentioned, being first in the field has saddled them with an old, inefficient infrastructure that others will improve on and then surpass Bitcoin's dominance. But then there's typically been a pretty long lasting advantage to being first in any technology.

with Bitcoin/Cryptos we are currently at this stage of development
I think it's worse than that. At least the person on the other end of that 1984 email knew what email was.

If you think of the current online marketplace - meaning Amazon and PayPal (or an old fashioned credit card) - Bitcoin is like going to the post office, buying a money order and putting it in the mail. Then having to explain to the recipient what a post office is and convince them that the money order really does have a value.

But there are some people who are a lot smarter than me who still maintain that Bitcoin, or cryptocurrency in general, is still in its infancy, and that the $11,000 price of a bitcoin today is going to look ridiculously cheap in a couple of years (John McAfee predicts bitcoin will reach $1 million by the end of 2020). And if you look at the valuation of things like Google or Apple, they might have a point. Everyone thought those things were at their peak years ago, but they continued to rise.

I'm not dumping my savings into Bitcoin any time soon (mainly because I have no savings), but I may hodl this 0.0130 just for laughs.
 

mjp

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#20
I made $0.86 today, suckers!

Actually it went up and down about 4,000 times. Like I guess it does every day. Volatile doesn't begin to describe it.
 

Johannes

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#21
Congratulations! Now [insert 7000 HODL memes] :D

Also, if you think about it, if I wire you money (in Europe, don't know about the US) via online SEPA Credit Transfer from my bank account to yours it takes 1-3 workDAYS for the transaction to be completed. And that's, like, the height of technical possibility in this regard. In 2018. Bitcon takes 1-3 hours. Still not as fast as simply handing you cash or Direct Debit of some sort, but it's getting there. Or at least that's the goal.

Then you take a global decentralized network that isn't owned by anyone, is anonymous or at least pseudonymous, can't be monopolized, can't be owned by corporations, nations or governments, is open source and open borders, cuts out the (mostly hated) middle man aka banks and offers an inherently limited currency (aka no or less danger of inflation) were every transaction is saved forever and unforgeable on the network (the blockchain) - the potential value of this becomes understandable.

This dude is explaining it pretty well



I also read his book, which I found informative about the evolution of money in general

Internet_of_Money.jpg
 

mjp

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#23
I've diversified and converted half of my Bitcoin fortune (which was down to $110 from the original $149) to Ethereum.

Now I have 0.0065 BTC and 0.0594 ETH, so watch out. You are in the presence of a major player.
 

mjp

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#25
It's been a rough month for Ethereum.

eth.png


Bitcoin isn't faring a lot better.

btc.png


My personal cryptocurrency fortune has shrunk to $87.37 overall (down 41% in two months).
 

Johannes

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Over 1000 posts
#26
Price has dropped, there are different theories as to why this happened. But don't you worry since the Twitter chief believes that it will become the world's single currency within a decade: https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/21/...ack-dorsey-square-interview-currency-10-years

He's heavily invested himself I've read but I'm sure this didn't cloud his objective judgement. We'll see if he is right :D

Also luckily someone did an in depth analysis and historically accurate reenactment of what happened in early 2018

 
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mjp

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#27
My personal cryptocurrency fortune has shrunk to $87.37
I forget about this, then I see something about bitcoin somewhere and I take a look. It's always worse. Ha.

Untitled-1.png
 

mjp

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#29
I saw a documentary about McAfee a few weeks ago: Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee. He's out of his mind.
 

mjp

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#30
I created an account/artist at Ujo Music. I'm trying to learn more about these early attempts to link art - and more importantly, the payment for art - to blockchain, because...well, just because it seems like a good thing to know about.

In order to use Ujo you need an Ethereum interface for your browser, so I installed that and set it up.

meta.png



The Ujo account set up was pretty simple until I tried to add an artist bio, at which point Ujo tried to charge me 3 or 4 cents via Ethereum, but it said I didn't have any Ethereum. So I had to figure out how to get Ethereum to Ujo, which I eventually did (via Coinbase), but not before buying a couple dollars worth of Ethereum that I didn't want or need.

So far so good, right? Ha.

There are just so many moving parts. Every step of the way you're confronted with some new terminology that you have to go learn, first, what the hell it is, and then how to use it. Even installing that METAMASK Ethereum bridge in Chrome - which is just a Chrome plugin - involved 10 minutes of Googling.

I have friends who sell music, and I keep thinking that if I can figure this shit out, I can help them be on the bleeding edge of it. But I don't think I could even begin to explain the core concepts of it to any of them, let alone how to exploit it.

"Hey man, did you add that stem yet?"

stem.png


Ha ha.

Now imagine trying to tell someone who wants to buy your record how to get it via Ujo. I can see the blank stares already. ;)
 
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