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Money Mans 1 Million Bitcoin Advance Just The Beginning Of EMPIREs Blockchain Moves

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Cowl artwork for Cash Man’s new album Blockchain


First comes a $1 million advance paid completely in Bitcoin. Subsequent comes revolutionizing the way in which the music trade pays, and engages, artists.

Atlanta rapper Cash Man, who launched his new album Blockchain final month, made headlines when he grew to become the primary musician to obtain his seven-figure advance for his subsequent challenge in cryptocurrency, from indie label EMPIRE and its founder and CEO, Ghazi.

Across the time the 2 early crypto buyers spoke on the Bitcoin 2021 convention, alongside the like of NFL gamers Russell Okung and Sean Culkin, Ghazi started connecting with corporations that have been utilizing blockchain options for mass funds. “I used to be with Cash Man someday and I mentioned bro, I believe we might break the Web if we did your advance all in crypto,” Ghazi says. “And he mentioned, Let’s do it.” They used Money App for the transaction.

However the implications are extra far-reaching than a one-off promotion. The advance, and the NFT drop that accompanied the album, are extra about cultural evolution, Ghazi says. “It wasn’t about making an entire bunch of cash. Cash Man makes loads of cash. It was concerning the shift in tradition”—each on the patron and enterprise facet.

A second NFT drop is due out for Christmas. “We’re nonetheless determining the utility use for it, however we’re undoubtedly doing an EMPIRE/Black Circle/Cash Man Christmas NFT drop for the vacations,” Cash Man teases.

In the meantime, Ghazi is constructing a division of EMPIRE solely devoted to blockchain initiatives, and the corporate will launch its blockchain cost answer by 12 months’s finish. The transfer comes as different music corporations are starting to embrace crypto. Prescription Songs now presents a Bitcoin royalty cost possibility and Beatport just lately introduced it’s going to settle for funds in Bitcoin, to call two.

“The first factor that was in my thoughts was I at all times knew within the file enterprise we had the problem of easy methods to pay individuals,” Ghazi says. “It was simply troublesome, particularly as we begin to signal artists in locations like Jamaica, Nigeria, Indonesia, China. It’s laborious to get wire info correctly; there’s no rhyme or cause to it.”

He likens what’s occurring with crypto to the transition of music distribution and consumption from obtain to streaming—“We had a format change in music, and now we’re having a format change in funds”—and says it’s already altering the dynamics amongst EMPIRE and its roster of present artists and potential signees.

“It’s a continuity in an space the place we’ve at all times been a progressive firm,” notes Ghazi, who says EMPIRE was early making ACH funds to artists utilizing a system that will ship them by electronic mail notifications. “The following section is to determine a method to put cash instantly into individuals’s wallets by way of crypto. When artists see us doing that sort of stuff, the connection is simply a lot extra passionate and empowered.”

The music trade is simply starting to rely the methods blockchain and crypto can alter enterprise, he provides. “It diversifies product, it diversifies cost techniques. You’ll be able to contact individuals higher globally and if you are able to do that, you possibly can interact creators on an entire totally different stage. It provides loads of sources and utility on the subject of advertising and marketing and communication, the place you could possibly use your NFTs for entry to a Grammy get together, entry to merch.”

From the artist perspective, “It is a renaissance time for artists. Let’s be clear, when you step into the metaverse and the metaverse evolves absolutely, its going to be lots simpler to achieve lots of people and goal fan bases,” Cash Man says.

“It’s simpler to get investments and do crowd-funding out of your followers in case you can create a kind of consciousness of blockchain know-how. Cryptocurrency proper now’s all about group. It’s important to be in some sort of group, that’s what makes it work. Artists must be distinctive methods to additional their music contained in the crypto area.”

The drop of 500 movement NFTs—together with three iterations with distinctive colorways—that accompanied Cash Man’s Blockchain launch offered out in 24 hours at a worth of .3e, or about $150. The primary 100 purchasers obtained a free hoodie, the remaining 400 obtained 25% off the merch retailer, and the fastened worth for all was very intentional.

“Lots of people have been viewing NFTs as a lick, simply to make an enormous bag of cash and not likely understanding the utility and the place that is headed,” Ghazi says. “We felt like if we created an NFT that had utility you could possibly create confidence.”

The NFT creation and administration have been dealt with internally by the EMPIRE group. “We didn’t outsource it like loads of artists and firms are doing. We did it on our personal, in our personal firm we’re constructing all the framework in order that as we scale, any EMPIRE label artist or companion that desires to do an NFT can do one and we are able to launch it and scale it correctly and message it correctly.”

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