The Cypherfunks: disrupting the music industry

Tuesday 15 April 2014

The Internet is home to some very interesting and downright cool crypto projects. One of the most interesting and original concepts comes in the form of a crypto-band calling themselves ‘The Cypherfunks’.

The Cypherfunks are an online crypto-band: a music experiment that aims to fuse an Internet band and an original crypto-currency. They can be thought of as Satoshi Nakamoto’s funky mutant offspring.

The band was founded by South African Simon de la Rouviere who contributes greatly to the crypto-currency space, with this being his latest project.

The CypherfunksThe Cypherfunks are an Internet band, first and foremost. This is a band anyone can be a part of. Affiliation is free and there are no barriers to entry. It's more fluid than the traditional band concept for collaboration and creation of music.

Anyone can come online and remix a song, collaborate with other musicians and release content. The idea is to redefine the concept of a band for the digital age. According to Simon, the idea of a band is “something that hasn't changed that much.” So the Cypherpunks are experimenting with different ways in which musicians can come together to make music.

The goal of The Cypherfunks is to create a new type of music collective, through loose and free affiliation,

and create awesome content in the process.

The approach bares a striking resemblance to the open-source software method that has made Bitcoin so successful.

Interestingly, The Cypherpunks have combined their band with a crypto-currency. Simon notes that while “a decentralized or Internet band can actually exist without a cryptocurrency”, a crypto-currency provides a backing […] to the network that will proliferate under the idea.”
The musicians will benefit directly from their involvement because they will earn ‘FUNK’ (the native crypto-currency), which acts like very liquid stock in the band. This offers a unique way for contributors to capitalise on any success.

‘FUNK’ is a Scrypt coin and the genesis block was mined on the 21st of February. There is a constant supply of ‘FUNK’ over time. Simon wanted the ‘FUNK’ to act both as a stock and currency. Transaction fees might not be enough to keep the miners interested, as the amount of transactions might not be sufficient.

There will be a 2.5% increase in the first year, after the 4 initial years, slowly decreasing each year. Simon hopes this will be enough to keep miners interested in the future.
It was also important that the currency be understandable and easy to use. There are miners sustaining the blockchain and being rewarded for that work.

This is intended to be a long-term project. For now, the basic infrastructure is in place, with miners, pools and exchanges. Simon wants to focus on “making music and growing the community”. He notes that there are “people involved from across the world, from Indonesia, South Africa to the US.”

The crypto-currency is second to the Internet band. Simon sees that there is “a big hurdle to educate musicians about this concept and what it can mean”. Nevertheless, he has already put up guides to help people understand the concept.

A bunch of songs have already been released. It will be very interesting to see how this concept develops and to what extend it catches on in the online music production and distribution space.

Fancy listening to some crypto-pop? 

Check out more of their music here.

Tristan Winters

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