The Icelandic singer is giving away a Bitcoin competitor with preorders of her new album “Utopia”; some warn of a bubble
For Björk, it’s one step closer to monetary Utopia.
The Icelandic art pop singer behind hits like “It’s Oh So Quiet” and “Army of Me” has teamed up with BlockPool, a British blockchain provider, to offer fans about 20 cents worth of cryptocurrency when they pre-order her upcoming album. For each purchase of “Utopia,” which drops November 24, audioheads will get about 100 Audiocoin, a cryptocurrency targeted at the music industry. You can also preorder the album from One Little Indian Records, Björk’s indie label, and pay via Audiocoin or Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrency is a alternative medium of exchange created, secured and transmitted via crytopgraphy and mined by computers. Its most famous examples are Bitcoin and Ether. Fans of Björk will have an e-wallet set up with 100 Audiocoin upon their purchase— the album runs from $11.80 and up— and can earn more by sharing her content on social media or attending her gigs. That’s a model akin to what’s being utilized by Taylor Swift, who is offering fans “boosts” when they buy branded merchandise or concert tickets as the American pop star promotes her upcoming “Reputation” album.
Audiocoin’s founders say they were inspired by early 21st century peer-to-peer filesharing networks like Napster, which democratized access to music while forcing the industry to dramatically revamp its business model. Among its many other potential uses, Blockchain has been employed to seamlessly distribute money to the appropriate parties—recording artists, labels, etc—upon purchase; that’s an upgrade from the status quo when musicians are often the last to get paid.
Musicians and celebrities are coming to embrace cryptocurrency. The Grammy-winning dance artist RAC earlier this year made an LP available for purchase via Ethereum. U.K. singer-songwriter Imogen Heap also made a single—and the song’s key and stems— available last year for Ether buys. The “Harry Potter and Cursed Child” music score composer even wrote a Harvard Business Review article advocating cryptocurrency.
i am so overwhelmingly humble while announcing my album utopia is coming out end of nov . i can´t wait for you to hear it . this is the cover made by the warm extraordinary talented @truekanda and was assisted by me , @james.t.merry and @isshehungry . thank you for telepathically getting me !! over the moon and jupiter gratitudes to magical @arca1000000 for making the music of this album with me : what a profound and nourishing trip this has been !!! thousandfold appreciation and headbowing . hope you like it , warmth , björk
Once the domain of finance geeks, Björk’s experiment with Audocoin makes it easier to everyone to get in on cryptocurrency. “The more exciting piece of this is [as] a gateway to come in to crypto, rather than simply getting people to part with their cryptocurrency to get an album,” Kevin Bacon, chief exec of Blockpool, told trade publication MusicAlly. “The conversation with younger people is ‘how do I get crypto and start trading?’… It will be really interesting to see how this pans out with artists who do represent that younger demographic.”
Still, some financial soothsayers are already warning of a bubble in some forms of cryptocurrency. One Bitcoin currently trades for about $7,280—more than seven times its value at the start of the year. JP Morgan Chase big Jamie Damon has famously called Bitcoin a fraud and said that he would fire any employees dabbling in it.
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