Bitcoin, Litecoin and other digital currencies are on a steady rise, with numerous mainstream sectors accepting this mode of payments, despite it being extremely volatile. From multinational tech companies to airlines, the payment and investment landscape is undergoing a paradigm shift. Amid this change crypto is becoming the preferred mode of payment for artists worldwide.
OneRepublic recently became the first band in the US to accept bitcoin payment for a live show in Austria, calling it “the next logical step.” The pop band predicted it to be the future of transactions for the music industry, its services, purchases and performances. Closer to home, rapper Raftaar recently announced that he’s ready to digitalise his payments when he accepted cryptocurrency for a virtual event in Canada in July 2021. “I’ve always been an ardent admirer of blockchain technology and I’ve always wondered why artists and managers alike haven’t explored the potentiality of this disruptive medium. Nevertheless, I’ve finally taken the baby steps in this direction,” he stated. Global music icons like 50 Cent, Mariah Carey, Sia and Fall Out Boy,Backstreet Boys and Lana Del Rey have committed to move towards this new type of transaction.
With such prominent names opening up to blockchain, the interest surrounding it has stirred even more. OneRepulbic used the app Strike for their transaction, which is a widely used platform that makes Bitcoin’s lightning network accessible to all. The app uses a debit card or a bank account to allow users to exchange Bitcoin or make payments for goods and services. Coingate, Coinbase, WazirX, Zebpay have emerged as commonly used platforms for cryptocurrency exchanges.
Long before it was well known, American rapper Snoop Dogg showed his interest in blockchain. In 2012, when the price of Bitcoin reached an all time high, his album was made available only through crypto payments. He has also expressed his interest in Dogecoin, the world’s first “Meme coin,” which was created as a sarcastic joke on rising speculation around cryptocurrency but ended up becoming a legitimate currency.
Well-renowned auction house Sotheby’s has opened up to blockchain now, accepting digital currency like Bitcoin and Ether. The first transaction was made when they sold a 101 carat diamond in July 2021 for $12.3 million, fully paid through cryptocurrency, which became the most valuable artefact ever bought digitally.
Though cryptocurrency doesn’t have a legal status in India yet, the future looks bright. Thanks to its decentralized, tamper-resistant nature, blockchain has the potential to change the way content is produced and consumed. Bollywood has already opened doors to the latest NFTs, by establishing Bollycoin, a platform that offers digital collectibles from the industry. It remains to be seen if cryptocurrency transactions too would set foot in the industry soon.