Developer Dirk Brockhausen tried for a few years to coax his long-time collaborator and friend Peter Ruppert to team up on a blockchain project. Turns out, it was Ruppert who spotted the idea that would launch their venture.
Ruppert has been in the music business since his teenage days as a musician and owner of an independent record label. In the 1990s, he began to work for MTV Europe in its music programming department and is now a London-based consultant for the music industry. His curiosity in cryptocurrencies and blockchain-enabled digital assets expanded when he saw the mania around non-fungible tokens.
“I came across what was happening with the NFTs in 2020 and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s mindblowing.’ Then I got in touch with Dirk and said, ‘We should find interesting ways of doing something with this for the music industry,’” Ruppert explains. “I was always a big fan of album artwork and I think a lot has been missing in this modern age where there is not as much interest in the artwork that goes with the music, or could go with the music, because of thumbnails that are used on Spotify and Apple Music. I thought, here we have an opportunity and we can take album artwork into a completely new world.”
Once Ruppert and Brockhausen talked through the concept they determined MusicArt could work and they knew of the ideal blockchain for it. Bitcoin SV (BSV) had been Brockhausen’s chosen network for years because of its ability to scale and accommodate microtransactions. Instead of the high-priced assets that populate other blockchains, MusicArt provides a marketing platform for emerging and independent artists to connect with their fans.
“When I discovered NFTs the scene was all about a one-off sale of a ridiculously priced digital asset. The big auction stuff and I thought that’s what it was all about, and I wasn’t that interested. But Dirk told me that it wasn’t necessarily the case. He explained how we could go and produce NFTs with very low cost and also at a very scalable rate. That’s what really got me hooked,” says Ruppert, who names Prince’s “Around the World in a Day” as his favourite album cover. “We wanted to produce something that any musician, any band can use on their social media. They can sell 100 pieces of artwork that are connected to their latest music, and fans can then have another way of supporting them, through the purchase of an NFT.”
The timing for MusicArt to partner with TAAL is harmonious. The blockchain infrastructure company is set to launch its tokenization protocol, STAS, in fall 2021. MusicArt will be among the first adoptees of a solution that can turn the STAS digital tokens into NFTs which are stored immutable on the BSV blockchain including the respective artwork.
“We were always interested in low-cost NFTs and not the big whale stuff. I knew that only BSV can do what we wanted. Still, we had to look through the many different tokens that are operating in the BSV space. What we found was interesting regarding the STAS token is that everything is processed on chain. You don’t need any third-party programs to run scripts to process transactions or data. For the STAS token, you don’t have to deal with connecting problems. There are other programs that we could have chosen but they had a lot of problems associated with them. The platform itself is developed by Vaionex,”
says Brockhausen, who has a PhD in physics and years of programming and consulting, including for IBM.
MusicArt is set to make its debut in October and the co-founders couldn’t be more revved up to lift the curtain on their project.
“We have some really, really great stuff coming,” Ruppert points out. “We are a platform for every artist, no matter what level of familiarity, and we are very excited about some big, iconic names coming onto the platform.”