Latest Articles

Beyond ICOs, Enterprise Investment in Blockchain Media Startups Continues to Grow

Blockchain projects in the media space are enjoying increasingly easy access to funding and investment and it’s not just thanks to the rise of initial coin offerings (ICOs).

In recent months, enterprises have displayed interest in investing in or collaborating with blockchain-based media startups through venture capital organizations and funds of funds. This article surveys the involvement of enterprises in helping to support the growth of blockchain technology in the media industry via traditional funding strategies, rather than ICOs.

ICOs and the Media Industry

ICOs have become the most common form of raising funds and facilitating investment in blockchain projects as they allow investors to fund projects using cryptocurrencies.

By making it easy for anyone to invest in a startup, ICOs lower the barrier to investing and solve many of the challenges associated with the world of traditional venture funding, in which small-scale investors cannot typically participate. Blockchain startups in the media industry have, without a doubt, benefited from ICOs. Recent examples of ICO-funded media companies include BitClave, a blockchain-based search engine; Crazy Shapes, a multiplayer game; and e-Chat, a decentralized messaging platform.

But it’s all too easy to lose sight of the more traditional, enterprise-based investments that are happening for blockchain-based media projects.

Beyond ICOs

Recent developments have shown that funding opportunities for blockchain companies in the media space are not limited to ICOs. Traditional funding organizations are also becoming involved in the space.

One recent example is the announcement by Gil Beyda of Comcast Ventures, the venture capital arm of Comcast, that the group plans on “doubling down on blockchain” investments in 2018.

Although Comcast Ventures has not revealed many details about which blockchain projects it may support, it’s a safe bet that the goal will be to fund technologies that can help solve challenges for Comcast’s telecommunications business. It is also clear, based on Beyda’s statements, that the group is interested in investing in blockchain technology, not speculating on cryptocurrency.

Among Comcast Ventures’ blockchain investments to date is MState, an accelerator that focuses on helping enterprises to leverage blockchain technology. IBM partnered with Comcast in announcing support for MState.

Other enterprise-backed organizations are also turning to the blockchain to solve challenges in the media ecosystem. The Open Music Initiative, a consortium whose supporters include enterprises such as Viacom, Netflix, Sony and Time Warner, recently announced that it is studying blockchain technology and smart contracts as a solution for automating royalty payments for owners of digital music assets. 

Elsewhere in the music industry, one of the biggest blockchain acquisitions of 2017 was Spotify’s purchase of Mediachain, which develops a blockchain-based solution for connecting applications to digital asset ownership information. The acquisition helped Spotify to solve challenges in managing its own library of digital audio files.

Spotify may not quite qualify as an enterprise. It is, however, an established company with more than $2 billion in revenue and 1,600 employees. Its acquisition of Mediachain is another example of investment in the blockchain media industry by a company of significant size that originated outside the blockchain ecosystem.

The Future of Blockchain Media Funding

The examples above suggest that traditional funding organizations and enterprises are showing increasing interest in blockchain technology — and especially in technologies that offer promising solutions for the media industry.

ICOs may remain the chief funding mechanism for most blockchain startups, in the media ecosystem and beyond, for now. The sums of capital invested in blockchain companies by traditional means has so far been limited.

Yet interest from enterprises in blockchain investment clearly exists. Blockchain startups in the media industry might do well to think about how their technology can help established enterprises and pursue funding accordingly.

Google Adds Bitcoin Symbol to iOS Keyboard

Source: Reddit

Google has added the Bitcoin symbol to its keyboard on iOS, making it one of several alternative currency symbols available when users hold down the dollar symbol key.

Germany Opens Industry Consultation Process for Blockchain Strategy

Source: Reuters

Ahead of announcing an official strategy for leveraging blockchain technology more widely, the German government has opened a process for receiving recommendations around the technology from local companies and industry groups. Germany is Europe's largest economy and Berlin is home to numerous blockchain startups. The solicited recommendations could lead to official legislative action in the near future.

In the Post ICO World, CoinList Prepares Crypto Projects for Investment

ICOs emerged quickly as a popular model for crypto startups to raise funds, exposure and customer interest. But the world of ICOs took a nasty turn in 2018, with many projects that used the model unable to deliver on their promises to investors or turning out to be downright phony.

NFTs: How They Work and How They’re Bridging Blockchains and the Collectibles Industry

The upcoming NFT.NYC event highlights the growing role that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are playing in the crypto industry — and a growing intersection between crypto assets and collectibles.