Money can’t buy happiness, but blockchain can buy fame, and that’s kind of the same thing, right?
Okay, maybe not exactly, but the two are pretty close, depending on who you ask — say, for instance, content producers on platforms like YouTube. If blockchain could buy these creators a shot at wider recognition for their crafts, chances are that opportunity would make them pretty happy.
That’s what Best Meta is betting on, anyway. The blockchain-based platform lets eSports talents and celebrities create their own digital tokens that can be purchased by fans and communities they’ve built up around themselves and their content. Those coins can then be invested into creators’ future projects without going through a middleman or agency. The company says that can save creators from having to cater to the demands of their sponsors, instead freeing them up to be creative, take risks and explore possibilities.
But tokens aren’t restricted to a single creator. Once a player has invested in Best Meta’s tokens (BMTs), at an exchange rate of $0.60 per BMT, he can spend them anywhere in the ecosystem to support whichever talents or projects he believes in.
Amy Yu, Best Meta’s managing director, explained the concept is similar to crowdfunding, but with a few tweaks to the model to help hold creators accountable for what they’ve promised their fans — and, of course, to make it all run on blockchain. She also shared her vision for how a blockchain platform like this could transform other industries — ones in which members of the community are producing content at high qualities and quantities — and why competitive online gaming was the smartest place to start.
Crowdfunding With A Contract
In traditional crowdfunding — which is popular among younger demographics who favor the sharing economy — communities put money into projects and receive a promise of some deliverable down the line, whenever the project reaches a particular milestone.
Many projects never come to fruition, though, even if they succeed in meeting their fundraising goals. That leaves investors high and dry. They put their money in and never received what they were promised in return.
Yu explained that Best Meta leverages smart contracts to hold content creators accountable. Creators cannot unlock their funds until they achieve certain milestones on the roadmap, she said, and the community must verify that the milestone was reached.
Oh, hello there, blockchain.
Contributed tokens are held in escrow until the talent delivers the promised milestone. Then, just as with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the community members act as moderators to verify the transaction (or milestone) before the balance is released to the talent. And, if the project does not reach actualization, funds revert to the previous block where they were stored — i.e., they never leave the investor’s “wallet.”
As an industry, eSports has a few problems, Yu explained.
Sure, the industry is blossoming. After all, the Defense of the Ancients game made $24 million USD last year, and League of Legends commands one of the largest player bases in the world. Competitive online gaming has no problem attracting large young audiences.
According to Yu, the curse of popularity is that, as eSports have become more of a “headline industry,” larger corporations are pumping out cookie-cutter games to keep up with demand. Thus, they have created a standard for how such entertainment is produced and how the audience should consume it, leaving little room for creative participants in the industry to say otherwise.
Best Meta's vision is to empower those talents who are already producing creative content and are respected by other players in the community.
There’s another benefit to starting the transformation in this industry, Yu said, and that is the crossover between the gaming and crypto communities. Both are internet-based, and that’s a world in which streaming and virtual currencies are second nature, potentially making it easier to gain traction.
Where To Next?
Content creators often have bigger dreams than simply continuing to create the same type of content they’re making today forever. A grassroots support system powered by blockchain could get them the investments they need to take their personal brand to the next level — and that goes beyond eSports.
An independent musician or writer could use the platform to branch out from her current category and collaborate with others, Yu said. One example might be, say, by creating music for game videos.
Or, as eSports Director Toby “TobiWan” Dawson did, they can combine two disparate passions. Dawson always loved classic comedy television and used Best Meta to support the production of a show, Well Played, that wraps comedy and gaming into a single package. Well Played raised $60,000 and drummed up 32,000 views in the first day — plus, it opened doors for Dawson to pursue TV opportunities.
“Every one of the talents could create this,” Yu said. “It’s about combining the uniqueness of other facets of their personality. We don’t know what they want to do next, but we want to supply the bridges into the next industry, whatever it is.”