When I first wrote about Bitcoin over a year ago and suggested musicians check out digital music sales for bitcoins, each individual bitcoin was worth around $10. In recent months the value of bitcoins has risen and, as of yesterday, they were worth around $106. I know such so-called "cryptocurrencies" are a bit hard to fathom but maybe it's time musicians investigate platforms for selling digital goods for bitcoins a bit more seriously.
Bitcoin is Getting Serious Backing
Since writing that post, Bitcoin has had some intense ups and downs well-documented in tech and business media. While developments have disappointed those who seek a totally anonymous currency, for those interested in alternative digital currencies, Bitcoin is getting the support of serious investors as shown in recent headlines:
Yumcoin: Sell Your Digital Tracks for Bitcoins
I was prompted to revisit the topic for Hypebot due to the launch of Yumcoin, a new Bitcoin ecommerce site for digital goods.
CoinDesk's Danny Bradbury describes Yumcoin:
"Users sign up for free accounts, and the service allows them to upload digital products to sell at a maximum price of 10 bitcoins. The files are stored on an Amazon’s cloud service."
"Sellers can then enter a product description, and choose an image to describe the product. Yumcoin gives them a product URL, which they can then share on Facebook or Twitter..."
"The site takes 1 percent of the sale price, plus .0025 bitcoins (around 25 cents at the current value) as a commission on every sale."
The site is very simple at this point with no directory of goods. You'll have to publicize your work yourself but a Yumcoin rep informed Bradbury that:
"There’s lots of new features we’re working on (ie. catalogs, storefronts, and analytics)."
Why Not Investigate Bitcoin?
As I previously pointed out, any musician who's already giving away music wouldn't be harmed by tossing some tracks up on such a platform and seeing if there's a response. In the process you'd have to learn the basics of the Bitcoin world which would help prepare you for future developments.
And, for those who grasp the bigger picture and know how to take something new and turn it into a story for the media, the publicity possibilities are quite high especially if you're interested in being featured in tech or business media.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.