Mon 22 May 2017 4:02PM

Blockchain in the cultural sector

MR Ma Rio Public Seen by 79

Hello all,

This is my first post in this group. I got redirected to here via the P2P Foundation (Stacco Troncoso) where I asked a question about the possibilities P2P and blockchain may generate in the non-profit / social / cultural sectors. I hope it's okay to make a separate thread for it.

Short introduction:

My main interests are film distribution on an entrepreneurial level and bringing about a more anarchic world on an ideological level. I have started a non-profit film platform (Cinarchy Films) a few months ago and want to use this platform to organize (film) events, bring not-seen films to Belgium / Ghent and create a space to talk about different ways of organizing the cultural sector and even society at large, but from the perspective of the local level. Now I also try to connect with the tech sector since I'm convinced a lot of possibilities can be found there to make the cultural sector more vivid and vital again. Innovation (if not appropriated by capital) is key, I think.

I'm not very tech-savvy, so maybe I'm overestimating things. I see blockchain as a means to make the cultural sector more connected with each other. Producers, distributors and exploiters in every branch of the cultural sector (be it film, music, theater, dance, painting, sculpture, multimedial art, literature, photography and so on) could be downsized to individuals. Big companies, middle men and the thousands of accountants and notaries making cultural products more and more like commodities instead of co-owned products, can be bypassed. This goes even for the more commercial cultural sector, like the entertainment business.

My questions for you:
1. Are there any people from Ghent (or Belgium) on here, who want to meet up and talk about this? I actually want to start a Meet Up group about P2P, commons and blockchain, specifically directed towards the cultural sector.
2. Have any of you got examples, experiences, articels, thoughts or critiques concerning blockchain technology in the cultural / non-profit / social sectors? If so, please share!
3. Since this is, of course, a platform to talk about commons, I have a wider (more theoretical) question as well: how do you see blockchain technology playing a part in the creation of a post-capitalist, more common-based society? Is this something to experiment with, or is it already too late because of the appropriation by the fintech sector?
4. Finally, is anyone from here going to the OuiShare Fest in July this year? It would be nice to meet up!

Kind regards,


Andrew Jacobs Mon 22 May 2017 4:20PM

Great to read through your introduction.

I also think the blockchain would make it possible to more fairly compensate artists and I'm curious to see new developments in that sector.

A quick thought popped into my head: The Snowdrift co-op is working on an equitable way to fund open source software but their model was inspired by a paper on funding street performers (iirc). You contribute to the work (film in your case) and then agree to match other people who will contribute - building a network of contributors. It's worth watching their intro video for a better explanation.


Francisco Santos Mon 22 May 2017 4:48PM

Hey Joris,

I dont know about Ghent, but youre more than welcome to come over to Rotterdam and discuss blockchain. There are also a couple of meetups in the Netherlands, but they are not always in Rotterdam. Bitcoin Wednesdays in Amsterdam, for example, is quite worthwhile.

Regarding the articles, I wrote something recently on blockchain and social innovation. I very much believe it relates to the topics you mentioned. You may find it here: http://www.transitsocialinnovation.eu/blog/social-innovation-and-the-blockchain

Its never too late might be a bit hopeful but... its never too late! :)

Francisco Santos


Marc Rocas Sat 27 May 2017 2:58PM

Hi Joris,
Yes, Blockchain can definitely be applied to the cultural sector. Here you are some examples (some of them are now "classics" of Blockchain's development):



Stacco Troncoso Sun 28 May 2017 1:56PM

Have any of you got examples, experiences, articels, thoughts or critiques concerning blockchain technology in the cultural / non-profit / social sectors? If so, please share!

Definitely check out this exhibition by our friends at Furtherfield:


"A mysterious and controversial technology is among us. The Blockchain underpins digital currencies and makes possible dramatic new conceptions of global governance and economy, that could permanently enrich or demote the role of humans - depending on who you talk to."

For general articles on the Blockchain (with plenty of critique) check out the Blockchain category on the P2P Foundation blog.


Stacco Troncoso Sun 28 May 2017 1:58PM

For Ghent contacts, ask @michelbauwens1


Danyl Strype Sun 28 May 2017 5:32PM

One example is Ascribe, a blockchain database of license ownership for digital art pieces. I was a bit suspicious of their motives at first and wrote a fairly inquisitorial blog piece about Ascribe, but the basic information is there with links. They came back with a very reasonable comment about hard-coded attribution as the alternative to DRM, and how tThey have machine language art piece tracking stuff at WhereontheWeb.net. I'm intrigued, but I haven't yet had time to look deeply into it.

Another art-related blockchain project is Resonate.is. Resonate is a cooperative owned by musicians and audiences, working through a blockchain delivery and payment processing system that uses BigChainDB. Song are streamed to the listener P2P via the blockchain, which also takes a micropayment for each listen of a song or album, until the asking price is reached ("stream to own"). After that, the listener "owns" access to that music on Resonate any time with no further payments.

Resonate also say they implement the COALA IP protocol (The Coalition Of Automated Legal Applications — Intellectual Property Group) and supports Envoke, which pitches itself as "an open source blockchain for the music industry". Again, intriguing. Lot's new stuff popping up.