Art and science meet in the mind of former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, an entrepreneur who announced the launch of Artbit at South by Southwest. He isn't calling the platform a blockchain, but rather a "distributed-ledger" under construction that will allow both artists and fans to share and monetize artistic talent worldwide.
The goal is to have the technology move into beta by the fall, with a full launch expected in 2019.
Sorum got involved with Pablo Martins, the "genius visionary behind Artbit," a few years ago while working out of Sao Paulo, Brazil doing music and art projects. For the past couple of years he had been working on a different startup project being tested at Harvard, then became interested in this new endeavor based on art. "Everything started to fall into place in the past six months," he said.
The new model for how artists are discovered comes from the internet, with search and social media, he said. “It’s changed dramatically in the past 20 years, and more so in the last ten,” he said. “When things started to turn a little south for artists -- meaning monetizing the art -- everyone started to try to find a solution to fix problems that came from not being able to keep up with the times.”
Founded by Sorum and Martins, along with Renan Monjon, Saulo Monjon, and Jean-Philippe Innocent, the Artbit platform was created to help unsigned and unrepresented artists such as musicians, street artists and performers, dancers, and magicians get paid. The platform will address the problem by providing exposure and capital to independent artists, while protecting their intellectual property and equipping them with the tools needed to manage the business side of their craft.
The Artbit community will be built on the Hedera Hashgraph platform and eventually act as a virtual agent that can manage the ability for artists to manage a smart contract, for example. “It’s not blockchain, but it’s a public distributed ledger where people can connect and trade information,” Sorum said. “The artists will be able to decide who to affiliate with when promoting their music or performance.”
Community members also will have an option to produce live shows and performances through the platform, linking artists’ performance locations to any virtual stage. Fans worldwide will have the ability to watch the live performances, conducting interactions such as likes and shares. It also will enable artists to generate cryptocurrency.