Blog article
See all stories »

B for Blockchain and C for Content - Do these worlds meet?

So block chain is in the hot-seat. News, views and uses are aplenty in the online world. After reading the two articles here in the FinExtra community - Enrico Camerinelli's Blockchain Business Scenarios and Rik De Dyan's The Block chainletter, I intensified my online study / research on the topic. In the process, I came across this interesting article titled Blockchain 2.0 : The Renaissance of Money . Though about a year old, I specifically liked it because it traced briefly and crisply the history and overview of blockchain technology and also gave a perspective on different scenarios in which people can use it. 

The section on how blockchain can make it easier to consume / pay for content piqued my interest. The article states that “ChangeCoin has also created a boon for content creators and bloggers in the form of ChangeTip. Consumers can now use Bitcoin to tip a content creator with a small sum (even 5 cents) instead of just liking an article. Not only is this an innovative way to show appreciation but it will change the business model of content creation and curation.” 

Being a content crafter and having been a blogger / writer for several years now, I do know from the blogger / writer community that making / receiving payments for content related work continues to be a challenge (especially in a place like India). One as an industry, the digital / online / media content industry in evolving. Two, in an economy like India – There is really no “fair” price for content. It is really the contract between the individual / business that buys content and the one that sells content. Three, it is so easy to forget / delay a payment for content related work. After all, what real recourse can a blogger take with any big brand if they delay / default a payment!

On the other side.. As a content consumer, I do know that I have read a million blogs from all over the world, and learnt immensely from a vast ocean of published content. While a like or comment is really the only way I can acknowledge / appreciate a writer for his / her power of words, I must confess that there have been a lot of times when I genuinely wished to pay them in some small way - for the impact of their words on my work. After all, writing is a lonely profession, and not so well-paid is what I am told! So, every cent / penny / dollar counts! But alas - It is not possible for me to pay since I don't have an open payment infrastructure to pay another fellow writer for his / her work.

So what then is the recourse for most content creators / curators - especially for online / digital content? They settle for less. They don’t get their due. Which seems unfair, right? When words can make / break individuals, companies, societies, economies and brands – it does seem to be a significant price to pay – simply because there is no trusted and reliable payment infrastructure to make payments in a simple and seamless way to anyone anywhere in the world in your preferred currency.

And that is where I believe lies the power of a payment infrastructure like Blockchain. 

It is in the every day use cases and scenarios which can make it possible to trust and transact with anyone in the world in real-time without any intermediary (like a bank). So if I really like what Seth Godin has written, or what Arianna Huffington has written, or what Malcolm Gladwell has written or what Maria Pappova has written and want to pay them in some way for the power and influence of their words and writings, I should be able to do it in a single currency and they should be able to receive and use that currency for anything they wish to buy! The same hypothesis should apply to any content form - be it a TED video,a private music album, a TV serial a documentary or even a movie.

In short, For the common man / woman to use such a payment mechanism for their daily needs what really matters is :

1) security of the transaction

2) ease of making / recieving payments, that is, the process

3) how soon does the actual fund transfer take place, that is, the speed

Now who provides it, who embraces it and who benefits from it will continue to evolve...

So as I sign off, I'll say B for Blockchain and C for Content - The worlds have potential to meet in more than one way. The point is when and How soon? Now, that's an answer I'll probably be willing to pay for! Leave a comment to let me know your views..

Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 03 December, 2015, 09:38Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I also echo your sentiments about wanting to make a "micropayment". Micropayment was the hot topic for exactly this use case 5-7 years ago. Many publishers jumped on the bandwagon but found out to their dismay that the generosity was restricted to a tiny fraction of content consumers who are also content creators. More in my comment at http://qwt.io/s_ketharaman/ruI4. Hope the buzz caused by ad blockers will revive interest in this topic.