Russian Pop Singer Signs Off Digital Rights Using Blockchain Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 16 September 2020 Blockchain technology is fast becoming the breakout technological trend in Russia, as it has continued to find more applications across industries. Perhaps the most surprising, however, is a local musician’s recent application to sidestep the rigid, label-run music industry. A First for the Music Industry This week, local news source VC.ru reported that pop singer Oleg Kenzov used a government-backed blockchain platform to transfer the digital rights to a song he wrote. Per the report, the artist’s studio, Soyuz, had signed a licensing agreement with digital music service FONMIX to distribute “Po Kaifu,” one of Kenzov’s songs, across different locations countrywide. The licensing agreement allowed gyms, bars, restaurants, and other businesses wanting to use the song for promotions to access it easily. The deal marked a first of its kind, and it was completed in the presence of representatives from top record labels — including Sony Music, Warner Music Russia, and Universal Music. Music executives believe the technology can streamline the distribution process for music, thus helping artists to transfer digital rights. The platform, called IPChain, allows artists to instantly get their payments, while the entire rights transfer process takes less than ten minutes. Andrey Krichevsky, president of the IPChain Association, hailed the momentous nature of the process. He explained that blockchain has always been a pragmatic approach to solving the complex process of transferring rights, although the industry hasn’t been clear on applying it. “Now, we are finally ready to give a concrete answer to our colleagues’ question: ‘Why? IPChain is aimed at creating a comfortable environment for the joint work of labels and artists and increasing the volume of the music market as a whole,” he added. Blockchain Finds a Loving Home in Russia Last month, Expobank, one of the country’s top banking firms, completed the first crypto-backed loans in the country. Last month, Expobank, one of the top banking firms in the country, completed the first crypto-backed loans in the country. Per a report from Kommersant, the bank granted an individual credit line with WAVES tokens. Explaining further, the report claimed that the bank issued the loan to Mikhail Uspensky, a local entrepreneur. Uspensky also said he’d keep using WAVES for his business operation. Blockchain is also finding application in the country’s public sector, as the government has been working on a prospective blockchain voting system for a while now. Last month, local sources confirmed that telecoms giant Rostelekom had partnered with the Ministry of Digital Development and Communications to test a blockchain-based voting system. Reports claimed that the Waves Enterprise developed the system, and preliminary tests saw votes cast by 30,000 participants. The initial results were promising, although the developers also caught a few issues that they claimed were easily fixable. This month, the developers tested the platform in two regions — Kursk and Yaroslavl, with almost 2.5 million people. In total, 28,771 people recorded votes using the blockchain platform. This success level has motivated developers as they now seek to fine-tune the voting system and make it a part of Russia’s democratic process going forward.