A New Economy
A recent report from PwC predicted that the sharing economy will be worth
$335 billion by 2025. This may mostly have been driven by the relatively well-established
players like Uber and Airbnb, but much of the sharing economy’s future growth
could be propelled by the digital entertainment sector, one that appears to be
increasingly built around blockchain solutions.
As this segment grows, people may be able to freely store, publish
and trade content without ever having to depend on centralized institutions.
Traditionally, content creators had to go through intermediaries
such as Google and Facebook to reach an audience. These intermediaries took a
huge chunk of the revenues generated and could censor content for whatever
reason they chose, which can limit people's freedom of expression and cause a
lot of financial harm, among other things.
Peer-to-peer sharing of content ensures that creators get paid
directly for their work and consumers get highly customized and quality
content. Conventionally, content creators mostly earn money based on the number
of clicks an advertisement placed on their content receives. There are many
issues with this model for both publishers and users alike.
The decentralization of content storage and sharing will allow
users to be in control of their data, which currently isn't the case. A recent
example of user data privacy not taken seriously can be found in the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal. But with
blockchain technology taking the wheel, these challenges could soon come to an
A well-known project called TRON
is working on advancing decentralized entertainment content
sharing. TRON was founded by the Singaporean TRON Foundation and enables
publishers to connect directly with consumers and get rewarded based on the
popularity of their content. Consumers also receive incentives for interacting
with content either through upvotes or redistribution.
TRX, the official cryptocurrency of TRON, is used as the medium of
exchange on the platform and is usable as a payment method outside of the TRON
platform as well. TRON has already secured partnerships with some major content
distribution platforms and messengers across the globe.
One of their key partners is Peiwo app, China’s largest
voice content provider, with over 10 million users. The partnership with TRON
enables app users to send tips to each other within the app using TRX tokens.
BitTorrent, one of the world’s largest peer-to-peer file sharing
platforms, is also working on a decentralized ecosystem powered by the TRX
cryptocurrency. Through what it calls Project Atlas, the platform aims to make it possible for
users to earn a reward for continuing to seed files after a download is
BitTorrent enables individuals to download files faster from the
internet by gathering pieces of the file to be downloaded from people who
already have them. For this to happen, specialized software that remotely
connects to different computers is used. When users finish downloading a file,
they can decide to leave the software running so that other users can obtain
the files from their computers. This process is known as "seeding,"
and it is becoming very popular.
Another strategic partner of TRON is Game.com, a
blockchain-based gaming platform powered by cryptocurrencies. With the
partnership, TRX is now one of the cryptocurrencies accepted on the platform
for gaming activities such as in-app purchases.
TRON is not the only company trying to decentralize the digital
entertainment industry. Opus, an Ethereum-based
project, has introduced a platform on which musicians can publish their work
and receive 100 percent of the profits. The project leverages the
decentralized IPFS platform to
store tracks, therefore reducing storage costs. IPFS is a content storage and
sharing platform similar to the BitTorrent’s Project Atlas.
Through smart contracts, Opus
ensures that musicians receive rewards depending on the popularity of their
music. Music fans also get rewarded for creating playlists and sharing them
with their peers. All this is facilitated through the platform’s digital token
known as OPT. This cryptocurrency can also be used for payments outside of the
platform as well.
With the rate at which the sharing economy is growing, there is no
doubt that more blockchain-based solutions for the entertainment industry are
yet to arrive. Projects such as TRON have already paved the way to a disruptive
future, and it is for others to follow.