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What can BlockAI and blockchain technology do for you?

Blockchain tech­nol­o­gy will change your life.  But how you ask? When I was younger I played in sev­er­al bands, and in some we wrote our own music. My longest run­ning and most suc­cess­ful ven­ture (which con­sist­ed of two record­ed albums and most­ly free beer for pay­ment from the clubs we played) was with sev­er­al of my clos­est child­hood friends, one of whom wrote all of our music. When he want­ed to ensure that his intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty (the songs) were pro­tect­ed, he would mail them to him­self and then save them unopened just in case.

The fact that they were post­marked by the US postal ser­vice, if unopened, served as an inex­pen­sive way to pro­vide proof that he had actu­al­ly cre­at­ed them at a cer­tain time. So if years down the road he sud­den­ly heard his song play­ing on the radio but it was­n’t him per­form­ing it, he could just pull out the post­marked pack­age and head to a lawyer. Today artis­tic cre­ations are most­ly dig­i­tal, so hav­ing proof of cre­ation is more dif­fi­cult. Any­one can fake a time stamp on an image, after all.

Unless, of course, that time stamp is in the blockchain. If you’re unfa­mil­iar with blockchain tech­nol­o­gy, it’s the per­ma­nent, unal­ter­able dig­i­tal record cre­at­ed for bit­coin cryp­tocur­ren­cy records, and it’s pret­ty awe­some. Because it’s unal­ter­able, lit­er­al­ly. It can’t be changed, even by the most sophis­ti­cat­ed hack­er. It’s much more secure than, say, the email records of a gov­ern­ment official.

The full Mon­ty for secur­ing intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty involves reg­is­ter­ing it with the Library of Con­gress, and most peo­ple don’t want to go through the process. One study found that in the San Fran­cis­co Bay area, 10% or less of artists do so. To bridge the gap between no pro­tec­tion and Library of Con­gress pro­tec­tion, a com­pa­ny called Block­ai has stepped in.

Block­AI allows artists, pho­tog­ra­phers, and oth­er cre­ators to use the blockchain for record­ing a record of their cre­ations.  Will it hold up in court? No cas­es have been brought yet, but com­mon sense says that it prob­a­bly will, just like the old mail-to-your­self plan would have. Cre­ators sub­mit their dig­i­tal cre­ations (which, as you might imag­ine, is pri­mar­i­ly images/photographs) and imme­di­ate­ly get a cer­tifi­cate show­ing their reg­is­tra­tion in the blockchain.

Recent­ly the com­pa­ny has made it even eas­i­er for cre­ators to do this by adding a tool which allows them to tweet their image using the hash­tag #block­ai, and they get a con­fir­ma­tion tweet back with a link to their copy­right claim cer­tifi­cate. Block­AI is yet anoth­er com­pa­ny that is using what many con­sid­er to be the future of tech­nol­o­gy, the blockchain, but for a dif­fer­ent and pos­si­bly much more main­stream pur­pose. Not that mon­ey isn’t main­stream, but cryp­tocur­ren­cy as a replace­ment for the mon­ey we now use is still a taboo sub­ject for many and gov­ern­ments obvi­ous­ly aren’t fond of the idea.

So if you’ve been excit­ed about the idea of forg­ing the future through some­thing bit­coin-relat­ed but have been iffy because of the uncer­tain­ty around it, a com­pa­ny like Block­AI could be a great way for you to get your feet wet in the blockchain and bold­ly go where we’re all prob­a­bly going to end up any­way, long before the field gets crowded.

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