You might have heard about the term “crypto music” before, but do you really know what it means? What does it mean to be “crypto”? How does it differ from regular music?
Music has always been a powerful tool to express emotions and convey messages. However, some artists have started using new technologies to create their songs in recent years. These include blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning.
Crypto music is a genre of music created using these technologies. The term was coined in 2015 by DJ Spinn, who also introduced the concept of “blockchain DJs.” According to him, “Crypto” stands for “crypted” or encrypted, while “music” comes from the Latin word meaning “to play.”
The first recorded song written in code was released in 2009. A few months later, Cryptocurrency enthusiasts began exchanging digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. This led to the creation of music-sharing platforms like BitTorrent and Napster. In 2011, DJ Spinn announced releasing his debut album solely online. He called it ‘Bitquest’ due to its use of cryptocurrencies.
By 2013, several cryptocurrency musicians were releasing albums through major streaming services. One of them was David Harlow, the founder of the popular “Free Lunch Radio Show,” which features tracks in various genres, including house, trance, hip hop, and rock. Harlow mentioned that many people out there, probably a billion, like free music play. He says he wants to cater to that need on his radio show.
2021 saw a more than 30% increase in the number of crypto musicians. They produce diverse styles across different types of music, many of which fall under the umbrella terms of deep house, tech house, trap, progressive house, nu-disco, electro house, future house, and dubstep.
Let us find out how this emerging phenomenon affects the broader music industry.
What Is Crypto Music? What Are NFT Tokens?
To understand why crypto musicians are creating music, we must first understand how NFT tokens work. They can be thought of as digital collectibles — like physical vinyl records or CDs. However, unlike physical objects, NFTs cannot be destroyed, counterfeited, or copied. As a result, they become highly valuable thanks to their scarcity and high demand.
NFTs are immutable digital entities that represent ownership of certain virtual goods. Every NFT token represents a specific piece of information stored within a computer. The collection can function as a library, encyclopedia, photo album, or even a museum collection when combined.
NFTs are digital assets similar to bitcoin. They all have a finite supply, and no one person or group has control over how many of them exist.
Unlike music files hosted on sites like YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, etc., crypto music is usually distributed through decentralized apps (dapps) running on top of public blockchains. These dapps allow users to download songs without using centralized cloud servers and pay artists directly instead of relying on streaming services.
There are three main categories of NFTs: music, video, and games. Most crypto musicians focus
exclusively on one of these areas. For example, you could buy a song from a musician by paying them with Ether (ETH), the native currency used in the Ethereum platform. However, due to the lack of interoperability between platforms, buying content via ETH requires finding a suitable wallet where such trading is possible. In practice, most crypto musicians prefer other cryptocurrencies owing to easier transfers.
To conclude, when it comes to crypto musicians, the concept of decentralization should not be taken lightly. Their goal is to create an ecosystem that benefits the whole community by providing quality content, fair compensation, transparent business practices, and a better user experience. Their work is truly revolutionary, paving the way for new models of peer-to-peer creation, distribution, and consumption of media content.