DJ Who “Turned Down Wall St.” Is On a Quest to Decentralize Tunes Festivals

Impartial DJ Justin Blau (recognised on phase as 3LAU) didn’t exactly stumble into the cryptocurrency sector — to say so would misrepresent how considerably assumed he’s put into his blockchain-based function network, Our Tunes Competition (OMF). But at the really least, his introduction to the house came via a touch of serendipity.

Blau turned formally acquainted with blockchain engineering and cryptocurrencies immediately after a possibility meeting with the Winklevoss twins at a music pageant in 2014. The Winklevosses were being making their own debut into the sector, as they were being in the early levels of creating their Gemini trade at the time.

After hitting it off with the up-and-coming DJ, they invited Blau again to their penthouse, a welcome alternative to crashing at an  exorbitant downtown hotel, Blau admitted in an job interview with Bitcoin Magazine. That night — and the blockchain-centric discussion that dominated it — had Blau hooked on the youthful and novel tech.

“I really swiftly observed all the methods in which blockchain [technology] could disrupt the music business and all factors of the music business — from digital music to stay music to supervisor and artist associations — disintermediating the complete business as a entire. And I just found myself contemplating about it all the time.”

Organization moguls and fiscal thoroughbreds as the Winklevosses are, the face could have felt a very little like hunting into a rearview mirror for Blau. Just before dropping out of Washington College in St. Louis to pursue a music job — a determination encouraged by a single of his finance professors — he was in line for an internship speedy keep track of to Wall Road. As an alternative of subsequent in his father’s footsteps for a job in finance, he established out to journey the momentum of his early times playing frat parties and university demonstrates throughout the country, a go that acquired him the title “The DJ that turned down Wall Street” from Forbes.

So in connecting with the Winklevosses, the doors of the fiscal sector were being opened to him again — only this time, the doorway was to a niche and really stigmatized five-12 months-outdated discipline. However, this same doorway opened up the probability to reimagine his recent profession less than a new financial design.

“After I done my initially ether transfer — I compensated a Dutch corporation at 1:00 a.m. on a Saturday night in ETH for some animation function — I was like, ‘Holy crap, this is crazy! Fast transfer of value. And that’s when I definitely started out to dive in and discover as considerably as I perhaps could and ask myself, ‘How could I be a portion of it?’”

The solution turned distinct in August of 2017. After consuming crypto-linked literature with voracious curiosity and attending blockchain conferences, Blau began mixing with some of the space’s main innovators and professionals with enable from the Winklevosses and some of his outdated university good friends who had created their careers in tech.

“I just had all of these people who were being really effective, making introductions for me, and that’s when I started out diving in further,” he reported.

And Blau has found his put in the sector: on phase, both as host and performer, at the world’s initially blockchain-driven music pageant. Coming to fruition on October 20, 2018, Our Tunes Festival’s initially iteration will be held at the Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley, with German-Russian DJ Zedd headlining, and Huge Sean, Matt and Kim, and Charlotte Lawrence on the lineup, as perfectly.

At its inception, OMF began as an effort and hard work to tokenize stay music occasions. In essence, Blau described, it’s aim was to decentralize the complete system, offering admirers a diploma of management above lineup curation and even a share of the festival’s revenue.

But as the house developed and tokens entered the regulatory discussion, points turned complex.

“I assume it’s essential for any blockchain startup to be genuine about the scope of the job,” Blau reported in the job interview. “It turned definitely challenging to continue to keep [to our original model], given the regulatory atmosphere. We shifted to this utility token design, in which the token represents desire for the pageant as a item. And then we shifted again and questioned, ‘So how do we do both?’ And that’s in which we are now.”

For its inaugural 12 months, the pageant will be blockchain-linked inasmuch as admirers will be equipped to pay for tickets in crypto as perfectly as fiat. They’ll also situation paper Ethereum wallets to all admirers after they check out in to the pageant, a gesture in line with the instructional perception Blau hopes the festival’s blockchain/crypto information booths will give to its attendees.

Arrive future 12 months, Blau hopes to combine blockchain tech even additional into the festival’s attributes. He wishes to help payments in OMF tokens, as perfectly as to launch a reward system that will allow admirers to get paid OMF by inviting good friends to the pageant, buying tickets early and committing knowledge and feed-back to the OMF ecosystem.

These tokens will also be made use of for savings and promotions inside the pageant grounds, and Blau even intends to leverage them to give admirers obtain to their preferred artists, backstage passes and VIP ordeals.

In the significantly future, Blau wishes Our Tunes Competition to faucet into blockchain technology’s decentralized, peer-driven ethos to give admirers a say in the festival’s lineup and a share of its revenue.

But to get there, Blau and his startup will have to motive and reckon with the industry’s technological and regulatory growing pains.  

“We have to adapt as we go and that’s the major challenge for any corporation in an evolving house. Community scalability and regulatory atmosphere are our major challenges,” he mentioned.

From a authorized standpoint, Our Tunes Competition are unable to give revenue sharing, lest the U.S. Securities and Trade Fee (SEC) sees these payouts as dividends and its OMF token deemed a safety. On the scalability entrance, Blau believes that the Ethereum network requirements to mature ahead of the pageant can completely decentralize and put into action extra blockchain-pushed features.

If the network fails for regardless of what motive and a person just can’t get into the pageant, it’s a big loss for the engineering as a entire.

“In 12 months a single, we’re only going to start out rolling out attributes if we know we can execute them. Mainly because our major danger is the admirer expertise. If the network fails for regardless of what motive and a person just can’t get into the pageant, it’s a big loss for the engineering as a entire,” Blau reasoned.

“Year a single is definitely kinda a launch function. Year two, start out creating out some of the tech. Year 3 to 12 months five, our most important ambitions are offering admirers ownership and enabling admirers to vote for the lineups for these occasions. And in the extensive-time period, even allow them generate their own small occasions.”

Right until the extensive-time period will become the fast existing, the pageant will “gradually decentralize above time,” Blau reported, espousing “a company belief in minimum viable centralization … to deliver [his] strategy to the mainstream.”

Supporting him in his initiatives, OMF attributes a stacked team of both music and tech sector professionals. COO Adam Lynn serves as co-founder and president of Primary Social Group, a concert and function corporation liable for 900 occasions, 19 festivals and 400,000 ticket profits on a yearly basis. Kevin Edelson, the company’s CMO, has a history of PR function for Common Tunes Group and Purple Light-weight Management, among others.

For intelligent contract and blockchain advancement, Our Tunes Competition leverages the function and abilities of Zach LeBeau, Shreesh Tiwari and G. Thomas Esmay, the main team at SingularDTV, a blockchain studio that focuses on digital media and amusement.

Blau hopes that in bringing tech and imaginative professionals together, OMF will catalyze blockchain integration into the music sector. As for Blau, he’s hoping he can serve as a guiding middleman among both industries.

There is a very little little bit of a disconnect among existing industries and blockchain startups and my aim is to be that bridge. To clearly show the tech people and engineers what people like me have to have, to deliver the music business a very little extra throughout the fence into the house. So that’s my own aim — to be the bridge.

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Andrew is a freelance journalist with multimedia skills. She is obsessed with science, environment, and technology. His newfound beat is how cryptocurrencies are changing our everyday life. Andrew bylines include New Scientist, Science Magazine.