$FLIX Wants to Democratize the Film Industry Comments Off on $FLIX Wants to Democratize the Film Industry 579

The entertainment space has experienced incredible disruption over the last 15 years. The rise of social media, and subsequently the social media influencer, allowed individuals and brands to amass their own audiences. This gave advertisers new channel opportunities and created a need for high quality video content in a new medium.

Then, Netflix introduced streaming in 2007, which meant more nontraditional avenues for content and audience development.

Ultimately, the competition for audiences spurred on a streaming war that recently culminated in content saturation that even Netflix is grappling to overcome. 

All of this has had the impact of increasing the demand for well-produced content and creating new avenues for creators to be seen. The result is a new playing field in the entertainment ecosystem, with room for new entrants and a rapid increase in content produced by and for minority and niche populations.

Now, a new platform called $FLIX wants to take the democratization of content to a new level by utilizing the blockchain.

Created by Ben Rosenblatt and Micho Rutare, $FLIX is a token designed to finance films. A percentage of every token purchased aggregates in a so-called “film wallet” in order to finance a production. 

They believe successful projects will spark interest in the token, which will in turn increase the volume of token sales to perpetually fill the film wallet. As the token garners traction, the founders say they will buy back tokens to “burn” them, creating additional scarcity for token holders. 

Rather than an ICO or other type of closed pre-sale, the token was a fair launch, meaning that everyone had the same access to the initial sale.

“It was very important to us that this be a community-owned token, and that the community could get in on the ground floor,” says Rutare.

The token had a successful launch, garnering a market cap of nearly $3 million at its peak. 

“Oftentimes, new tokens that launch fairly suffer from bots who buy a ton of the supply which ultimately deters other buyers from entering,” Rosenblatt said. “We managed to avoid this.”

According to Rosenblatt, $150,000 of the sale is already in the film development wallet, which is enough to execute on the platform’s two primary goals: making content and building a community. Since launch, they’ve made some strides toward realizing those goals.

“We have engaged a Sundance Institute creative executive to spearhead script development, and we are also talking to major Hollywood screenwriters about producing their scripts,”explained Rutare.

In the near-term, they plan to open a discord server to engage their community of token holders.

According to Rutare, the team is composed of traditional, but anonymous, crypto personalities. They include three developers across two continents, five moderators around the globe, and the three founders of the project, Rutare, Rosenblatt and 0xSilverbone. 

In addition to the development team, the group will engage entertainment-industry experts that will sign on to support the funded projects.

“Now that the initial hype from launch has died down, [the platform] will rely on execution from here on out to build on that hype,” says Rosenblatt. “With our collective experience, we believe we are more than up to the task.”

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Tina Mulqueen is the founder of The Block Talk and the CEO of Kindred PR. She consults with blockchain projects on marketing and public relations strategy, helping clients to secure more than $10M in funding. She is a 2x Top 100 Women in Media honoree and was named one of the top young communications professionals by INC Magazine. She's an advocate for women in technology, and often speaks about the intersection of technology, media & marketing. She writes regularly for Entrepreneur, and has written for Forbes, Huffington Post, Today, Thrive Global, Elite Daily, New York Lifestyles Magazine, and more.

Fidelity to Offer Bitcoin in 401(k) Retirement Plans Comments Off on Fidelity to Offer Bitcoin in 401(k) Retirement Plans 49320

The move is the first for a major retirement plan provider and may signal more widespread adoption of the cryptocurrency. 

On April 26, Fidelity announced its intention to add a Bitcoin investment option to its 401(k) retirement plans. Employees of businesses that pursue the option will be able to allocate as much as 20% of their contributions to Bitcoin, all from the company’s main investment dashboard. According to reporting by the Washington Post, Fidelity said that at least one employer has already signed up for the option which will launch later this year.

“Fidelity’s leadership, especially CEO Abby Johnson, has been at the forefront of institutional Bitcoin and crypto integration for years and is no stranger to the space, with Fidelity’s private equity and venture capital arm being a major source of capital for crypto miners, crypto SPACs, crypto hedge funds and more,” says Eric Lamison-White, Director at STS Capital Group LLC, a cross-border advisory and investment firm. “It is completely in character for Fidelity to steadily and cautiously extend access to their working class customers as the regulatory climate becomes more productive.”

Critics suggest that the volatility of Bitcoin poses an unnecessary risk to a retirement portfolio. It’s a reasonable argument. At the time of this writing, the cryptocurrency’s price has fallen by more than 6% just today. Meanwhile, at $37,978 it’s a far cry from Bitcoin’s high of $68,000, representing more than a 40% drop since November 10th of last year. 

However, advocates of cryptocurrency’s long-term utility disagree.

“Cryptocurrency is a reliable, long-term store of value because it cannot be corrupted by central authorities,” says Lisa Carmen Wang, founder of The Bad Bitch Empire, a platform for female investors in web3. “We’ve already seen hyperinflation, bank failures, and other egregious disasters happen in the last few years, so trust in governments is at an all-time low. Crypto is inevitably volatile now because it is an early stage high-risk/high-reward investment, but for those who believe in the values of a decentralized economy, crypto is an attractive long-term investment that people should consider having in their portfolio.”

Regardless of your appetite for risk, the notion that savers will be able to easily manage contributions to Bitcoin in a respected retirement plan is meaningful.

As of last year, 63% of US adults that did not hold crypto were curious about it. Many people in the crypto-curious category don’t invest because they simply don’t know how. There’s a technological barrier to entry that can feel daunting. 

When you have major retirement plan managers like Fidelity making it easy to add Bitcoin to a portfolio through a dashboard users are already familiar with, we may see this group start investing in the asset class, moving digital currencies further along toward mainstream adoption.

How a Thief Stole More Than $1M in NFTs on Instagram Comments Off on How a Thief Stole More Than $1M in NFTs on Instagram 525

A common use case for the blockchain is reducing fraud. Shouldn’t that mean it’s impervious to hackers? Not necessarily. Here’s how a hacker was able to amass more than $1 million in stolen Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.

For any of us that have received a nefarious link in our emails or on social media that encourages us to input private information, we’re already familiar with the logistics of phishing. A hacker sends us a link, usually under the guise of a brand or person we recognize, and asks for personal details like usernames, passwords, or bank details that aid them in assuming our identity or assets. 

It’s precisely what happened in the case of the Bored Ape Yacht Club hack which was announced on Twitter Monday morning. 

A hacker was able to take charge of the official Bored Ape Yacht Club Instagram profile, and sent a communication to followers claiming to be offering an “airdrop,” which is a term used to describe a free token giveaway. (Note: it’s not clear at this time how the hacker was able to login to the official Instagram, in the first place.)

Users were asked to link their wallet to benefit from the airdrop, which made their mobile wallet susceptible to the hacker and resulted in the transfer of multiple NFTs, presumably including four Bored Apes and a number of other NFTs minted by the Bored Apes creators, Yuga Labs.

The hack illuminates a glaring problem in the NFT market. Namely, MetaMask, the popular wallet application, only supports NFT display on mobile which is less user-friendly than the platform’s browser extension leading to mistaken transaction approvals.

What’s the solution for NFT holders? “MetaMask with Ledger,” according to Adryenn Ashley. “NFT holders need a wallet that gives them the ease of MetaMask with the security of hardware.”

The hack is a reminder that even though the blockchain has the potential to overcome fraud, users still need to be mindful of third party applications that manage their data. 

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