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Bjork’s new album goes all-in on the blockchain craze

Bjork’s new album goes all-in on the blockchain craze
[Photo: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images Portrait]

For all the buzz around blockchain and its potential to help the music business do things like revamp its business model or track songwriter attribution, there have been few real-world examples to point to. Well, Bjork is hoping to change that. The famously experimental artist is partnering with British startup Blockpool to tie her next album to cryptocurrencies and the blockchain ledger technology that underlies them.

Not only will fans be able to purchase the record using cryptocurrencies (hardly a new idea in and of itself), but they’ll also get 100 Audiocoins (a two-year-old cryptocurrency aimed at the music industry). Over time, fans can unlock new “crypto rewards” by interacting with Bjork and her music, including by attending live shows. That last part is the one of the more unusual–and potentially interesting–parts of the whole thing, although the details are sparse. Bjork and her team will reportedly spell out those rewards at some point in the future, but the idea of tying fans to artists over time using cryptocurrencies certainly suggests new and exciting possibilities could be afoot. Either that, or it’s evidence that the crypto hype doesn’t quite carry over into the music industry–at least not in this fashion.

The Audiocoins given to Bjork fans (which collectively total a whopping 19 cents in value) can be converted to other currencies, if desired. For many–and this is the other interesting part of the deal–this will be their first foray into the crypto world, and Bjork’s team aims to make that introduction as smooth and user-friendly as possible for newbies.

It may still be awhile before we have concrete answers about what the blockchain and crypto mean for the music biz, but leave it to Bjork to be the artist of her stature to really start digging in and experimenting.JPT