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Blockchain technology has received a great deal of media attention recently. It’s a technology that’s been at the core of new and innovative startups, and has been championed by Imogen Heap, Benji Rogers and others as a way to make the music business more fair, transparent and sustainable.

In the week leading up to Music Tech Fest Berlin at Funkhaus, the festival is inviting some of the best minds in the field – from well-known artists and labels, music streaming and cloud hosting organisations to scientists and academics from the world’s top institutions – to participate in a 5 day blockchain laboratory to conduct experiments and explore the possibilities for music using the technology.

#MTFLabs: Blockchain is not simply a discussion or a seminar, but a hands-on testbed for innovation and experimentation. There are some fundamental questions to be explored and some exclusive technologies to be tested – and of course, the central figures in the public blockchain music conversation will be involved and represented.

It’s not just about music.

#MTFLabs: Blockchain is a perfect example of how fundamental technologies derive from, or are driven by music tech. The Blockchain itself continues the theme of decentralised (or peer-to-peer) data sharing by first-generation MP3 sharing platforms like Kazaa (which in turn gave birth to Skype) or generic file distribution tools like BitTorrent. Innovation comes from all directions: but music technology is a cultural force, driving progress in verticals from fintech to automotive.

Music Tech Fest Berlin is also partnering with Hack in the Box – a security hack event in Amsterdam to ensure the best minds in Europe come together to progress, to question and to innovate in the realm of blockchain music.

The results of #MTFLabs: Blockchain will be showcased and demonstrated on the main festival stage at #MTFBerlin, 27-30 May at Funkhaus – and will also be examined and discussed in more depth at the #MTFResearch symposium on Monday 30th May. The results will also form the basis of policy briefing material for the European Commission, and be fed back into the wider industries and startups as open innovation to move the technology forward.