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The Entertainment Industry Meets Blockchain

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These days, it seems, Blockchain is making its way into most
industries. Every other day, a new blockchain project is announced, usually
trying to give the technology yet another novel use. While many of these
enterprises are doomed to fail, others surely won’t. In a few years, many
markets would have been transformed by the immutable ledger.

One of the markets where there are still very few blockchain
proposals, yet where it could help the most, is entertainment. Once the private
playground of a few executives who acted as gatekeepers, this industry has
slowly been opening up over the last two decades.

Blockchain, as it happens, could be the technology to finally
make it change for good. There are several so far proposed uses that are worth
looking into.

Fair
distribution of earnings

This is the biggest one. It’s also likely the reason why the
industry so far isn’t looking into blockchain. And the reason why it is likely
to fight any blockchain initiative harder than they the Netflix (which it
lost.)

In essence, with the blockchain revolution;
actors, singers, and all kinds of content creators can be sure they’re not
being robbed. In an industry known for its creative accounting, it would be
expected for those in suits to dismiss any initiatives towards transparency.

After all, the status quo in Hollywood is that it is a handful of people make lots of money with the work of many people. The excuse is that they have the money to make it happen, which is true. But this select class has the money to make it happen on the backs of fraud and cooking the books.

Did you know, for example, that according to Warner Brothers
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” was a complete financial failure?
That didn’t keep them from making three more films in the franchise, though. It
also hasn’t made them go bankrupt for some reason.

Bringing an end to creative accounting by having immutable, public ledgers is the great idea that’s unlikely to happen. Transparency would kill the entertainment industry as we know it, for it is built upon embezzling and misreporting.

Were this to happen, though, it would affect more than just
those working in Hollywood. Plenty of websites operate in semi-open ways today,
allowing for user-created content. YouTube has made a fortune with it, for
example. Sam story with Soundcloud.

However, content creators are often faced with their earnings
being too low. While some content creators indeed expect too much, it’s often
difficult to know whether a site is misreporting sales or views. There’s no way
to audit the industry’s data.

Which leads us to another feature that will drive blockchain adoption.

Auditable,
trustworthy data

All we know about a product’s audience comes from the ones in
charge of the product. This means that, when certain data isn’t convenient,
they can withhold it or outright lie about it. And there’s no way to know if
it’s true.

For decades, the TV business depended on Nielsen to know about ratings.
This at least gave an estimate of ratings that couldn’t be manipulated by TV
stations. Just as well, cinemas depended on box office scores, and the music
industry on album sales.

That’s not the case today.

Streaming and digital media have brought amazingly convenient
ways to consume our media. We can access it when we want, where we want, and
just with one click.

We also have no way to know how many people are watching, or
listening to, what. Even content creators can’t know for sure. They receive
monthly reports, but there’s no way to audit them – which means stores can
quite easily cook the books and leave no trace.

On top of that, digital sales and distribution contracts
often shortchange the artists, even when they’re the ones who drive sales.
Taylor Swift went on a crusade against Spotify
over royalties. Jay-Z bought Tidal to try and shape it to be fairer. On the TV
front, Netflix hides viewing numbers for its shows even from its own creators.
The absurdly secretive company, it can be argued, does this so it gains more
leverage when renegotiating contracts.

In other words, it’s not a transparent industry. These are
the cases of high-profile people being hit by this, smaller content creators
could well be hit much worse. It’s also impossible to know if YouTube tells the
truth with its views count, for example.

Blockchain could put an end to all this. With an immutable
ledger, proper viewing and download counters could be a reality. Since this
info would be public (and why couldn’t it be?) content creators would have no
reasons to doubt numbers. We would know the truth about the market at all
times. It could even be used to track the cost and earnings of media, so that
creative accounting is kept at bay.

Of course, that’s precisely why it isn’t likely to happen.
Transparency is too much for an industry built in obscurity. An industry that,
also, often uses this obscurity to justify absurd or unfair decisions.

Establishing
copyright and automatically distributing royalties

This is one front where we might actually see some movement.
In an industry that somehow prides itself for ridiculous copyright length, it
can be very difficult to know who owns what in a few decades after the fact.
Companies are bought or go bankrupt, creators die, and often, genuine info on
who owns copyright is lost.

By using smart contracts on blockchain,
that could be eliminated. There would be no need to know who owns what, since
royalty fees would be automatically charged and distributed. Whenever the
rights over a product changed hands, the smart contract would be immediately
updated.

This is important, because there are lots of media in limbo
due to unknown copyright owners. In video games, for example, it’s a sadly common situation.
It’s not as common in music or media, thanks to the tight control by
corporations on the market, but it still does happen. Securing the rights to a
song can at times be extremely difficult.

By having fees for rights that are automatically awarded and
distributed, we could skip this. We’d just have to point out what we’re using,
and the blockchain would take over. Moreover, we could actively know when
copyrights expire – and once those dates arrive, the blockchain would mark such
media as free.

Great
upgrades that are unlikely

As mentioned before, most of these uses are unlikely to ever
happen. It would take a major blockchain technology investment
by a new player with money to make a change in the industry. We would require a
company with means to transform the market in the way Netflix did a decade ago.

However, not all is lost. While the chance of Netflix ever
releasing proper viewership numbers or Spotify allowing us to audit its numbers
is low, blockchain could well make a difference. And it’s quite likely we’ll
see blockchain-based media distributors, even they’re mostly independent ones.

Conclusion

The issue with Hollywood, of course, is that it’s set on its
ways. It took a long while to allow streaming. An even longer while to assure
that TV could have the same, or even better, quality than film. Many still argue those two
points.

Still, we can only hope that blockchain adoption in the entertainment industry occurs soon enough. We can only hope whenever it does, it does so in a massively disruptive way that forces the whole industry to change for the better.


About Stevan Mcgrath,

Stevan Mcgrath, is a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiast, passionate about the potential these tools and blockchain technology bring to the world and writes consistently for CoinReview. He has been following the development of blockchain for several years. To know his work and more details you can follow him on Twitter, Linkedin.

The post The Entertainment Industry Meets Blockchain appeared first on Web's Most Useful Blockchain Articles.

Source: https://railsonwave.it/the-entertainment-industry-meets-blockchain/

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The Curious Case of a Conflicted Bitcoin Bearish Wedge

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Bitcoin is stuck below $20,000.

The flagship cryptocurrency has attempted to break above the psychological resistance level multiple times in the last two weeks. In one of the instances, it reached as far as $19,915 only to face a bearish assault at the new record high that pushed its price lower by $2,000. It is evident that traders’ profit-taking behavior goes wild when Bitcoin closes towards $20,000.

Bitcoin Wedge

But looking from a wider perspective, the entire range between $19,500 and $20,000 prompts traders to exit their bullish positions for a short-term profit. In late November, the BTC/USD exchange rate made two back-to-back attempts to break above $19,500, but it succumbed to higher selling sentiment near the level, falling to as low as $16,200 later.

A pullback ensued, and the price again faced the same bearish bias near 19,700 — a development from $19,500, nonetheless. And now, the $19,900-area is giving the same vibes, having been crashed the price to $18,109 upon its latest test.

The price behavior has left Bitcoin in a sequence of modestly increasing higher highs and lower highs. Envisioning them together makes it look like that they are forming a Rising Wedge.

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, BTCUSD, BTCUSDT

Bitcoin Rising Wedge pattern in development. Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

In retrospect, traders see Rising Wedge as a bullish-to-bearish reversal pattern. So it typically happens the price ascends inside the Wedge range but breaks below its support trendline eventually. If accompanied by higher volumes, the negative breakout crashed the price by as much as the maximum distance between the Wedge’s upper and lower trendline.

Bitcoin’s current Rising Wedge pattern’s height is $3,249. Depending on where it breaks lower from, its price would likely fall by roughly $3,000. That would mean a plunge towards $17,000 — at least.

But There Is A Catch

The Wedge’s upper trendline is almost flat, with the difference between higher high levels close to $200. Some traders can also assume that it is a horizontal resistance level. If true, it would throw the entire bearish reversal theory, as discussed above, into a bin.

A horizontal line makes the entire Bitcoin structure looks like an Ascending Triangle. It is a continuation pattern wherein the asset in concern typically continues in its previous trend’s direction with a breakout above the upper trendline. An ideal bull target is as much as the height of the Triangle.

That means Bitcoin price — again — expects a move worth $3,000-3,249 but to the upside. It puts the cryptocurrency’s bull target at around $23,000.

So far, fundamentals favor Bitcoin.

The inflation narrative sticks because of the Federal Reserve’s likelihood of buying short-dated bonds and corporate debts amid a low-interest environment. On the one hand, excessive US dollar liquidity prompts investors to dump the greenback. On the other, the prospects of earning lower yields divert their attention to riskier assets like Bitcoin.

That explains why the cryptocurrency’s Rising Wedge pattern appears less threatening.

Source: https://bitcoinist.com/the-curious-case-of-a-conflicted-bitcoin-bearish-wedge/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-curious-case-of-a-conflicted-bitcoin-bearish-wedge

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Hackers Demand 200 Bitcoin Ransomware After Compromising Leading Israeli Insurance Company’s Sensitive Data

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A notorious hackers’ group called The Black Shadow has compromised one of the largest insurance companies in Israel – Shirbit. The attackers have already released sensitive client documents and have demanded a ransom in bitcoin, which could rise to $4 million by the end of the week.

Israeli Insurance Company Hacked

According to a local media outlet, the first confirmation of the hack came on Monday evening. Representatives of The Black Shadow group posted an initial batch of compromised documents on a Telegram channel.

Shirbit had contacted the National Cyber Directorate and Capital Market Authority to open an investigation. Shortly after, the organizations confirmed the breach and indicated that the hackers have also leaked numerous insurance details, alongside the initial documents.

According to the report, Shirbit has many high-profile customers, including government employees. Company CEO Zvi Leibushor said that the safety of its clients is Shirbit’s top priority.

“Shirbit has invested millions of shekels in securing databases and protecting against cyber-attacks and meets all the stringent regulatory requirements in this area.” He added that the firm has invested “all resources and efforts needed for an effective safe and rapid solution to this cyber-attack, whose real goal is to try to harm the Israeli economy.”

Demand Requested In Bitcoin

After releasing a small part of the compromised documents, The Black Shadow reps have contacted the victims to request 50 bitcoins (about $960,000 with today’s prices).

However, in case Shirbit failed to pay the attackers within the first 24 hours, the demand would double to 100 bitcoins. The procedure will repeat and double to 200 bitcoins if another 24 hours pass without payment.

Furthermore, the hackers threatened the insurance company that if it fails to transfer the funds by the end of this week, they will sell all compromised data to other bidders.

It’s worth noting that numerous other Israeli companies and high-profile individuals have recently become victims of similar hacks and demands.

CryptoPotato recently reported that 20 Israeli crypto executives, all clients of the local telecommunications giant Partner, were hacked by stealing their SMS messages.

Another coverage informed that a new type of ransomware attacked called Pay2Key has been executed against several Israeli companies in the second part of 2020. The perpetrators had requested the demand in bitcoins, similarly to the Shirbit hack.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/hackers-demand-200-bitcoin-ransomware-after-compromising-leading-israeli-insurance-companys-sensitive-data/

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Bitcoin Price to Hit $36,000 in 2021: Kraken Crypto Sentiment Survey

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From what happened in the last couple of weeks, it appears that the crypto bull market is upon us. Bitcoin has been consistent with its volatility-induced rallies, and this is infusing confidence in investors.

So much, so that VIP clients in Kraken’s latest Crypto Sentiment Survey say that BTC will skyrocket to about $36,000 in 2021. They also feel that ETH could revisit its previous highs of $1500.

Bitcoin And ETH To Trade At Average Prices Of $15K and $549 By 2020 End

The latest Kraken Crypto Sentiment Survey covers investor sentiment for the second half of 2020. The exchange had already conducted a similar survey back in March this year. But then investors were way more optimistic about BTC and ETH price growth by December.

Now, the same respondents have retracted their bullish calls for bitcoin and ether (ETH) this year. According to the latest numbers,

The average bitcoin price target among 309 responses fell -35% surveyover-survey to $14,866, well below February’s average of $22,866. The median price target also retraced -28% from $19,424 to $14,000, and the most commonly cited price target was $15,000, down -25% from $20,000.

With respect to ether (ETH), the average price target among 289 responses was $549, off -32% from the previous survey’s average of $810. The median price target was unchanged at $500 and the most frequently cited price target was $500, up +66% from $300.

At 72 percent, traders and investors (down from 81 percent when the survey was conducted in March) comprised a majority of the survey responses. 18 percent of responses came from Institutions (broker, custodian, family office, hedge fund, lender, market maker, private equity firm, proprietary trading firm, or venture capitalist).

And the rest 4 percent – from crypto service providers (ATM, exchange, lender, payment processor) and miners. As compared to March, the researchers at Kraken anticipated a lower price growth optimism from the said respondents since the year is so close to its end.

The Outlook For 2021 Remains Super Bullish

When asked about how they see bitcoin and ether prices in the next year, respondents didn’t shy away from expressing their mega bullish calls. Survey participants called for an average bitcoin price target of $36,602 in 2021. Some put the median bitcoin price target at $25,000, but a lot of folks (approximately 61 percent) felt if not anything else, BTC will at least hit $20,000.

A small section of respondents reported hopium-induced ultra bullish calls.

Approximately, 8% of respondents provided a price target greater-than-or-equal-to $100,000, roughly 20% of respondents reported a price target greater-than-or-equal-to $50,000…

Survey participants were very optimistic about ETH’s outlook as well in the next year. This sentiment came from the discussions around Ethereum’s network upgrade and the growing popularity of the DeFi ecosystem. Respondents think ETH will trade at an average price of $1454 in 2021. Also, at the same time:

Close to 59% believe that ether will, at least, hit $800. Additionally, 22% of respondents see ether surpassing its previous all-time high of $1,595 set in early-January 2018 and just under 92% see ether, at the very least, trading higher than current price in 2021.

What becomes evident from the aforementioned numbers is that participants in a price prediction survey tend to project bullish figures for a longer-term.

Will Bitcoin(BTC) and ether (ETH) hit the above price targets in 2021? That still remains to be seen.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-price-to-hit-36000-in-2021-kraken-crypto-sentiment-survey/

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