Last March, Siae (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) and the blockchain platform Algorand announced the first important step in the project to create an open platform based on blockchain technology to manage authors’ rights in a transparent and efficient way by design.
The partnership between the two companies had been signed in 2019, and after months of long work, the first tangible results have arrived: copyrights for the first time have been represented as digital assets. In detail, more than 4 million NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens, a type of digital asset registered on blockchain) have been created, which will digitally represent the rights of the more than 95,000 authors associated with Siae.
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Non-fungible tokens will thus be used for the first time to represent the rights of authors registered with Siae.
A decentralized and transparent public registry that represents them is the first brick necessary to build an open infrastructure that protects copyrights at 360°, as envisioned for the future by Siae. The creation of these assets represents the first step towards more ambitious goals for the company, which will allow much more transparent and efficient management of the rights themselves, in their journey between those who benefit from the right (those who listen to music, for example) and those who live off it (the author).
Gaetano Blandini, director general of Siae, explained: “Guaranteeing the protection of creativity has been Siae’s mission for 139 years and this project demonstrates that our objective is to continue to guarantee it for the next 139 years. We are not interested in building technological infrastructures from which to generate profit, our objective has been and always will be to create added value for our members. This is why we can afford to talk about open infrastructures and make all our know-how available to the community. Blockchain technology is definitely an interesting strand to continue exploring because of its transparency and efficiency features, which are fundamental for those who, like us, manage the proceeds of other people’s hard work.”
Matteo Fedeli, director of Siae’s music division, added: “After sifting through other market solutions, we chose Algorand because it seemed the most promising, both because of how its protocol works and because of its very collaborative approach. Blockchain is still an immature technology, but when it manifests its potential fully, it will change several businesses, including copyright and copyright protection. Siae has invested in blockchain to start building a roadmap in the sector, with a gradual approach that will bring value over time and more confidence in the market.” Silvio Micali, founder of Algorand, commented, “The agreement with Siae allows Algorand to highlight its technology: ability to create and manage NFTs with transparency and efficiency, which benefits authors, as Siae is non-profit.”
Algorand is a blockchain platform
Algorand was founded by Italian Silvio Micali, professor at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in Boston and winner of the Turing Prize, a sort of “Nobel of Computer Science”. It is a blockchain platform that overcomes the limitations of the first generation blockchain. Thanks to Pure Proof of Stake, the innovative consensus-building system, it enables the establishment of a highly scalable, decentralized and secure digital transaction ledger, while Algorand Standard Assets (ASA) make possible the so-called tokenization (i.e., standardized digital representation) of any type of asset, including currencies, coins and stablecoins. The company has created the first pure, open source, permissionless blockchain protocol for the next generation of financial products. Also last November, Algorand and InfoCert, a certification authority that is part of Tinexta, formed a partnership for blockchain-based digital identity.
Among the investors in Algorand is Eterna Capital, an operator specialized in blockchain investments, founded in London in spring 2018 by Italian Andrea Bonaceto (co-founder of HiredGrad, a staff recruitment platform supported by Imperial College Incubator, as well as co-author of the first Nft digital artworks made in collaboration with a robot) and three young former BlackRock analysts: Nassim Olive, Asim Ahmad and Mattia Mrvosevic.
Eterna Capital at the end of October 2020 launched with Albemarle Asset Management (a British investment boutique based in London and so far specialized in equity strategies) the new Venture Capital fund Eterna Blockchain II, which will invest in projects on distributed ledger technology. Together with Algorand and Borderless Capital, in April 2020 Eterna Capital launched Eterna Borderless Venture Studio, an investment vehicle intended to support new projects that build applications on the platform developed by Algorand Inc. In October 2020, again together with Borderless Capital and The Algorand Foundation, Eterna Capital launched the Algorand Europe Accelerator, to support early stage projects building applications dedicated to the platform developed by Algorand.
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