Is the music industry’s future on the blockchain?

3lau, aka Justin Blau, performs during Day 2 of the Electric Zoo Wild Island Festival at Randall’s Island on September 3, 2016 in New York City.
3LAU, aka Justin Blau, performing in 2016 in New York City. | Photo by Brian Killian/Getty Images

One big knock on cryptocurrencies is that they’re a technology in search of a problem. Venture capitalists want to put everything on the blockchain and generate big returns, but why not just use a database instead? To skeptics, everything else in the space looks like noise — a bunch of grifters and try-hards changing their Twitter profile pictures to pixelated punks and apes in an effort to eventually flip those NFTs to a greater fool.

But even as my mentions and direct messages fill up with readers fulminating about crypto — last week, after this piece, a paid subscriber wrote to me telling me he hopes that I die! — good and useful new things keep revealing themselves. Like a video game that pays you to play it. Or a series of free NFTs…

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Author: Casey Newton