Major music streaming platform Spotify is reportedly testing the option to include nonfungible token (NFT) galleries on musicians’ profiles. Should the trial succeed, the embedding of NFTs would serve to improve artist and fan experiences.
Reports surfaced on Friday that Spotify is running a test for select users of the platform’s Android app in the United States. These users can see the NFT previews on the artists’ profiles. Currently, there are only two such artists, DJ and producer Steve Aoki and indie rock band The Wombats — both of which are known for their adoption of NFTs.
It’s not possible to make direct purchases, but after reading about the NFT and seeing an enlarged preview, the user can tap to be redirected to the OpenSea page where they can purchase the item. According to reports, Spotify doesn’t support videos or GIF formats, showing only a static image without any sounds.
A company spokesperson told journalists that the tests are being conducted “in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences” and that while some of them will end up “paving the way for a broader experience,” others “serve only as an important learning.” Some Spotify users shared on Twitter that they’d received the NFT-related survey from the streaming service.
According to Music Ally, Spotify is not taking any cut of NFT sales during the trial. Cointelegraph didn’t receive a response from the company by publication time.
Musicians are actively exploring the NFT market, which could be a vital source of revenue, especially at a time when international touring continues to be disrupted by COVID-19. In 2021, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda became the first major-label artist to release a single as an NFT, and the Kings of Leon were the first band to release a whole album in the form of nonfungible tokens. Aoki, according to an estimate from Rolling Stone, made close to $3 million from minting just two NFT pieces out of the 11-piece collection.
The Russian government has cracked down on foreign social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, banning them for extremist activists. For protestors, activists and local civilians, these actions have resulted in a significant barrier to communication with the outside world. Furthermore, they have also raised the question of just how easy of a target these apps are for state authorities. With citizens unable to access these platforms, they have little choice but to flee to the next-best still active platforms.
However, it isn't just Russian activists who have taken to alternatives. Consider, for example, Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging service that has quickly become a place for sharing war footage and other content that may have otherwise been blocked on platforms like Instagram or Twitter. Not to mention that even these platforms, which are available to citizens now, have no guarantee of being free from bans by authorities. In this event, users will have no choice but to turn to "homemade" alternatives developed locally.
The debate between freedom and control is not a new one, with current world conditions only being one example of when these dichotomies exist head to head. Previously, this debate was introduced with the internet's provision of digital freedom, being taken away with big tech using metadata for profit-making opportunities and concerns around governments using the same data to keep an eye on their citizens. The result is that privacy and freedom of speech will never be guaranteed under today’s Web 2 foundation.
The battle between freedom and control is still ongoing as the world sneaks out new methods to empower individual sovereignty. For this reason, movements will always have an easily targetable weakness, and protest activities will still face barriers as long as they rely on centralized social media platforms, which may be shut down at any point. Naturally, this calls to, for example, the situation that occurred when the Nigerian government banned Twitter to protect their people from anti-government political activity. Effectively, this action only stifled activities and restricted citizens' ability to communicate and organize freely.
A report commissioned by South Korea’s federal government recommends the domestic crypto industry adopt a licensing system for exchanges and token issuers as a way of protecting investors.
The report issued by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to the National Assembly, the country’s legislature, also calls for new regulations to mitigate insider trading, pump-and-dump schemes and wash trading.
The new regulations would be stricter, and the penalties for failure to comply would be harsher than those in the Capital Markets Act that the domestic crypto industry currently abides by.
“The Comparative Analysis of the Virtual Property Industry Act” report obtained exclusively by Korea Economic Daily on Tuesday reveals a recommendation to establish a licensing system that would apply to coin issuers such as companies that operate initial coin offerings (ICO) and crypto exchanges. Varying degrees of licenses would be issued based on the risk involved.
Regulating coin issuers through a robust licensing system is considered to be the “most urgently needed protection” in the market today. That position may be underscored by the untimely market crash sparked by the fall of the Terra project, whose South Korean founder Do Kwon may find himself called before the National Assembly to explain what happened.
One recommended regulation would force coin issuers to submit a white paper to the FSC about their project that includes details about the company’s officers, how it plans to use funds raised through an ICO and what risks are associated with the project. Updates to the white paper would have to be submitted at least seven days before proposed changes could take effect.
Even companies with headquarters abroad that want their tokens traded on Korean exchanges would be required to adhere to the white paper rule.
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