Spencer Dinwiddie, a guard with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, first bought into Bitcoin in 2017. Now he’s helping athletes and performers make their own cryptocurrency tokens.
The power of decentralized technology to create both “trust and transparency” and a “seamless flow of value” inspired him to take the concept to the entertainment industry, where athletes in particular struggle to make the most of their fame before it flames out.
The result is a tokenized social ecosystem built on Hedera Hashgraph, a distributed ledger technology similar to a blockchain. Calaxy, a portmanteau of “Creator’s galaxy,” seeks to help actual entertainers benefit from everything from memorabilia sales to appearances—and even sell shares on their contracts (to allow them to earn more upfront), just as Dinwiddie did.
“[We’re] talking about all this value trapped in...the entertainment industry built off of the intellectual property of creators and the likeness and skill set of creators,” Dinwiddie told host Matthew Aaron on the most recent episode of The Decrypt Daily. “So how do you create like a social super app, in a sense that houses all of these types of features….so it's a kind of a one stop shop for monetizing oneself.”
This is all facilitated through Creator Tokens that will allow fans to invest in—and interact with—their favorite influencers.
Creators that sign up for the platform issue their own token. As fans purchase it, they get access to particular experiences. That system isn’t too different from Patreon, in which people support artists with monetary contributions in return for exclusive content. But the crypto asset adds a whole new dimension, making tokens tradable (and even potentially speculative) investments as well as utility tokens.
“What you're going to have is this robust economy where these social tokens have true and sincere value because people want to maybe buy time or buy advice,” Dinwiddie said. “They might want to speculate on the future of what that advice in time may be worth. To have a 30-minute time slot with LeBron might have been worth $1,000 when he was 18; it might be worth a million dollars right now that he's 36 and one of the greatest players of all time.”
The experience isn’t limited to athletes. The website for Calaxy, which has not yet launched, doesn’t mention which other entertainers have signed on, but it includes photos of “The Bachelor” contestant Matt James and model Claudia Sampedro.
Dinwiddie assured Aaron that the platform would be live in 2021, but he said, “I can’t give you the whole sauce.”
What he could say, however, is that it would represent a “paradigm shift.”
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