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Rally recently launched a cryptocurrency dubbed Creator Coin that will help influencers, content creators, and streamers run their own virtual economies. And today, it is announcing that Grammy-winning artist Portugal.The Man has joined as a coin partner.
All these entities have big followings and they’re adopting what Rally calls its Brand Coin, a cryptocurrency (dubbed a social token) that fans purchase and use to gain access to things like special events. Honda’s fans, for instance, can pay whatever they believe the coin is worth and use it to gain access to videos of him, on and off the field, said Rally CEO Kevin Chou, in an interview with VentureBeat. Chou hopes that Rally’s concepts, if they catch on, could bring the next 100 million people into cryptocurrency. Rally also recently did a similar deal with Japanese soccer star Keisuke Honda.
I like the idea because it fits into what I call the “Leisure Economy,” where we someday will all get paid to play games and build careers that didn’t exist before. I’m talking about folks like esports athletes, cosplayers, influencers, YouTubers, livestreamers, modders, and many other people. These are all the people that Rally is targeting, Chou said. But he’s also targeting companies and brands. I’m trying to figure out how to use it myself.
With Rally’s help, the band will issue its own PTM Coin, a new community-driven cryptocurrency powered by Rally, to offer access and benefits to fans who buy or earn the coins.
This marks the first time that a Grammy-winning artist has used a cryptocurrency to distribute unreleased material, said Rally CEO Kevin Chou in an interview with VentureBeat.
The announcement was made today by band members John Gourley and Zach Carothers. Fans who get the coins can get access to a fan-generated audio archive (launches at 10 a.m. Pacific on January 15).
They can also get into the “Oregon City Sessions” Livestream Party in February. They can also get access to a livestream of an unreleased film from 2009 and live Q&A with the band before and during the stream. The stream will include exclusive merchandise drops and first access to limited items.
Fans can also get access to live video and text chats with the band, tutorials, first access to music, and multiplayer gaming.
Gourley said in a statement that the band has always sought a direct connection with audiences, and they never felt good about charging for meet-and-greet sessions or autographs. With this, fans can get access to real ownership in what the band is doing.
Fans can access the audio archive and other future benefits by buying PTM Coin at Rally.io and linking their Discord account. Once completed, fans can head to the band’s newly launched Discord server and type a simple command to receive special Discord roles that provide access to exclusive content, including the audio archive.
How Rally works
The coins benefit not only creators but also the fans as well, Rally claims. They could invest in coins or collect them. They can hold onto them as they rise in value, and then sell them for a profit. The Brand Coin is targeted at brands, celebrities, and crypto influencers.
Instead of issuing a cryptocurrency, however, the company — or rather, the community-governed project that was founded by Chou — enables creators and brands to issue their own cryptocurrencies. They can use these tokens to reward fans, get them more excited, and build stronger communities. On the influencer side, Rally created Taki, where the tokens can be used to generate income as creators interact with fans.
Gen.G is a good example of this. The company operates esports teams such as Seoul Dynasty in the Overwatch League. It sells merchandise and can grant VIP access to the fans who demonstrate that they’re passionate about the team and the brand. Now it’s easier for Gen.G to identify those fans.
The cryptocurrency is based on blockchain, the secure and transparent decentralized ledger technology, and it won’t require technical know-how to use, Chou said. It uses the Ethereum platform as its foundation.
Rally worked with Chou’s other startup, the blockchain gaming company Forte, to figure out some of the foundational technology behind Creator Coins and Brand Coins. But Forte remains a separate company from what Chou is doing at Rally.
The tokens are a digital currency that can be customized to each creator or brand. They are also the foundational building blocks in an easy-to-use blockchain toolkit that will allow creators to unlock better engagement and monetization models in their communities.
If it works, Chou said creators will no longer be beholden to the changing value schemes of big social media platforms, which currently keep a lot of the proceeds generated by a creator. The creator won’t be subject to the rules of the social platform’s advertising/partner programs, platform soft currencies, and subscription programs. Any value built up in a Creator Coin economy is owned by creators and their communities and completely independent of big tech platforms, Chou said. The same is true with Brand Coins.
And creators have control. In addition to removing platform gatekeepers and only allowing payment processing fees and transaction fees the creators set for themselves (Rally takes no fees), creators no longer have to contend with the usual fears around de-monetization, de-platforming, and censorship when it comes to their tokens.
And with blockchain behind it, the creator gets the transparency of knowing who holds coins in the community, transaction verification, and scarcity control. Rally’s coin holders have voting control over what happens with the money raised.
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