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.