Colored Coins startup Colu has announced the beta launch of its platform, as well as its first partnership to bring blockchain technology toward practical applications.
Colored Coins is an open source project that aims to develop new solutions based off Bitcoin’s blockchain functionality. By attaching various metadata, Bitcoin transactions can be “colored” to represent, for example, the transfer of smart property. A large array of applications are envisioned, including peer-to-peer exchange of securities and title registries.
Tel Aviv-based Colu is building API technology allowing developers to access Colored Coins functionality and to build distributed applications, even if they have little or no knowledge of Bitcoin. Developers can add blockchain-based approvals to transactions performed with these applications. Ultimately, the goal is to allow anyone to easily create digital assets and make them available for secure, decentralized exchange via Bitcoin’s network.
The startup had been developing its platform since last year, when it received $2.5 million in venture investment. With the beta launch, it is inviting developers and companies to leverage the protocol.
2015 has seen a surge of activity in the realm of blockchain technology for development beyond Bitcoin as a currency. Numerous banks are exploring the technology, which may permanently change the face of back office operations. Several startups are working on various blockchain implementations to help bridge the gap between the crypto and non-crypto worlds, attracting increasing amounts of venture investment.
Colored Coins for Music
With its beta launch, Colu also announced its first partnership for its platform. Revelator, a platform providing marketing solutions to music creators, will be working with Colu to build a rights management API.
Like with the administration of title records and intellectual property, the registration of rights to music and its distribution is fraught with its own inefficiencies. The new solution would leverage the blockchain to register musical works. Collecting societies, which aid the licensing and royalties collection for copyrighted works, can then potentially gain greater transparency into the origins.
Revelator offers assistance to both artists and larger businesses looking to distribute and market their works, as well as gain intelligence into various marketing metrics. It offers differing monthly plans, depending on the nature and needs of the business.
The adaptation of blockchain technology to this niche area is a new spin on what has been a discipline mostly focused on financial applications, such as securities trading and currency transfers, until now.
Colu CEO Amos Meiri explained to FortuneZ that the music industry is in particular need for such solutions. He said that a fragmented ecosystem, a lack of transparency and outdated technology have made it ripe for disruption. He noted that in addition to securing rights management, the blockchain can come in handy for micropayments.
“There’s been a dramatic shift in the industry over the last 15 years with the arrival of the digital economy. The old models (ownership) and formats (physical) have given way to new models (access) and formats (digital) without a real adoption or change in infrastructure to facilitate this change and the growth that we are about to experience,” he noted.