In my writing and presentations, I reference a book quite a bit called “Who Owns the Future” by Jaron Lanier. In his book, he discusses the future, where he believes that because of the inevitable total automation by robots and artificial intelligence, the only work that will be available will be for people (much like creative entrepreneurs) who can earn an income of micro payments for sharing knowledge, offering services, and selling original content.
The biggest challenge to this theory is creating a digital infrastructure that can successfully track the usage and pays the original creators who own the rights to the content.
If what Lanier talks about is correct, here is a glimpse at what that digital art marketplace of the future could look like.
A Blockchain-centric Digital Art Market
There is a very cool video from technologist Chris Tse, where he talks about building a Blockchain-centric Digital Art Market. If you are not aware of what the blockchain is, he is basically proposing that we use the same infrastructure that verifies Bitcoin ownership, and attach it to digital art, or any other digital media for that matter, so that there is a verified owner for all digital media.
This would be a great opportunity for digital artists, musicians, writers or any other digital content creators. I think there could be a lot of potential in this and based on all that I have read about the future of technology and digital media, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see something similar in the near future.
Do You Accept Bitcoin for Your Art?
Speaking of the blockchain, do you accept Bitcoin for your art or other products & services?
Bitcoin has sort of lost it’s appeal over the past year, after peaking to outrageous valuations sometime in 2013, however there are still people who accept it in exchange for art.
Check out BitPremier where they sell rare, collectable art and luxury items like Ferraris and Rolexes for Bitcoin.
I wrote a blog post over on Digital Pinup Magazine when they were selling two original Olivia De Berardinis pin-up paintings. I would have totally bought them if I had the extra XBT laying around…
Personally, I dabbled a bit in Bitcoin and still have a few just to keep my hands on should they gain again in popularity. I traded some work for what was, at the time, $20 in Bitcoin and watched it grow in value to over $300. Pretty amazing to see. Now it’s at about $60 or something (I have to check).
If you are interested, you can learn more about Bitcoin over on Coindesk.
Definitely something to keep an eye on and let me know what you think. Do you trade in bitcoin? What do you think of the blockchain? Does it have a future?
Sean Earley is an American digital consultant, podcast host, speaker, publisher & music producer. He advises Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs and organizations on innovation, new technology, strategy, communications, marketing & design. He is the host of several podcasts and makes regular appearances on international media platforms where he discusses the latest trends in technology, culture, business and politics.