In November, Bjork began selling her album in Bitcoin and three other digital currencies. (The first major artist to accept Bitcoin seems to be — go figure — 50 Cent.) Ghostface Killah got involved in issuing his own cryptocurrency, which seems uncomfortably close to the Chappelle’s Show’s “Wu-Tang Financial skit that shows the hip-hop group offering investment advice.

In early December, a team involved with the cryptocurrency Monero announced Project Coral Reef, which allows consumers to buy merchandise from Mariah Carey, G-Eazy, Fall Out Boy and other artists who have deals with Global Merchandising Services. Now the DJ Gareth Emery plans to release, sell, and pay royalties for music using both digital currency and the blockchain technology that it often runs on.

Digital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could be transformative and they’re rising in value so fast that they’re impossible to ignore. (Even J.P.

Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon turned around.) At the same time, the only person I know who has ever actually bought anything with Bitcoin is my former neighbor in Berlin, who ordered LSD by mail from the online Silk Road marketplace for illegal drugs. It’s not clear how much this will help the music business, however, since rising Bitcoin transaction fees are making the currency so impractical that even a bitcoin conference stopped accepting them. As cool as cryptocurrencies are, it’s still not clear what problem they solve.

Consider Monero, which offers users even more privacy than Bitcoin by obscuring the identities of payers. That has potential and it makes sense for businesses to accept whatever currency their customers want to use. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of