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Hitmakers will soon have another avenue to connect with their fans around the world. Warner Music Group is one of several investors backing Flow, a new public blockchain that’s similar to Ethereum, allowing developers to build decentralized applications at scale.
Developed by Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties, Flow has closed $11 million in new funding.
Says Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs,
“Flow is a blockchain built from the ground up to support high performance ecosystems of apps and games without compromising decentralization. Bitcoin and Ethereum show how crypto can make the world of finance more open and transparent; Flow will do the same for consumers of entertainment and culture.”
The company says that Flow will support a range of experiences to connect fans with artists and athletes using crypto tokens, enabling millions to trade verified, authentic, limited-edition digital memorabilia in real-time.
Says Jeff Bronikowski, senior vice president of global digital business development at Warner Music Group,
“Warner Music is always searching for new opportunities for our artists and has dedicated itself to exploring emerging technologies to enable these. When we met with Dapper Labs, they immediately understood our vision so we sought to solidify the partnership through this strategic investment.”
The announcement offers another glimpse at how crytocurrencies can expand beyong the finance industry, where their use case for cross-border remittances has gained traction, and make in-roads to pop culture and a mainstream audience. As Warner’s first blockchain investment, Flow can enable the creation and trading of valuable digital fan art signed by major pop stars, such as Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa.
Dapper Labs is also positioning Flow to tap into the $135-billion gaming industry. In addition to Warner Music, the Vancouver-based company has closed content partnerships with Ubisoft, creator of Far Cry, Just Dance and Assassin’s Creed, and Animoca Brands, one of the first gaming companies to build on Flow.
Says Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands,
“We believe that crypto is the future of the gaming industry. In order to support the scale expected from games that reach and are adopted by mainstream consumers, we need a strong platform that takes into account the needs of developers and the superpowers of decentralized entertainment, which is why we will work with Dapper Labs to build fun, accessible experiences on Flow.”
Flow is expected to launch in 2020. Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund led the round as the largest investor.