A cryptographic journey to record and release Justin Holmes' latest bluegrass album using a commit-and-reveal scheme spawns a new way to think about music disribution.

The problem Revealer solves

Music being unfree has not made musicians unpoor. (Getting jobs as software engineers has, but that's a story for another day).

Earlier this year, we traveled to Nashville, TN, USA to cut a record of our 'blockchain bluegrass'. We were fortunate to have been put in contact with some of the best bluegrass musicians in the world, whom we secured as session musicians for the record.

The entire venture has cost us over 25 eth. So what, in 2023, is the obvious way to release a record and recoup these costs?

Let's back up, almost a century:

The prospect of AM radio broadcast summoned us from countrysides, mountain tops, and street corners toward a journey of being encoding our traditional music as light and energy.

The word “traditional” as it has applied to our street music has always meant, perhaps among other things, “not subject to copyright or other capricious whims of the state.” As a result, the past few decades have been characterized by tension between remix culture and the intellectual property industrial complex.

Blockchain tech represents an inflection point of similar magnitude as AM radio. Using Threshold access control, it is now possible for artists to encrypt their releases and specify the conditions under which those releases can become part of the corpus of free human knowledge.

  • Artist encrypts their offering with a symmetric key and uploads it to storage medium of choice.
  • The symmetric key is encrypted using Threshold Network.
  • A smart contract releases the symmetric key only when the contribution target (in our case, 10 eth) has been reached. This releases the record to everyone for free for all time.
  • A discord bot brings the ciphertext of each track to Threshold Network, get the decrypted track, and post it as a discord message.
  • Once the record is released, the mapping of contributors crosses the

Challenges we ran into

Challenges we ran into tell us about any specific bug or hurdle you ran into while building this project. how did you get over it? (markdown supported)

  • Sending mapping of contributors across Gnosis AMB
  • Discord file size limit
  • Broken laptop
  • Broken high e string
  • Facing down a monstrous and well-connected music industry
  • Errors while submitting on devfolio!

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