Why Crypto is Exciting for the Creator Economy?
Interview with Deepak Dutt and Akshay Patel
In the 3rd episode of the Imagination to Creation series, we are excited to explore the topic of cryptocurrency and its connection to the creator economy. This is a beneficial article if you want to keep up to date with the newest trends and take some food for thoughts on our future economy, especially if you are a creator who is interested to see how you can take advantage of the economy in the coming 5 years.
Interview with Deepak Dutt, CEO of Zighra and Akshay Patel, Crypto Specialist
A little background of Deepak and Akshay
Akshay Patel- Akshay’s background stems from both his passion for business and technology. He currently studying at the University of California, Berkeley in the Management, Entrepreneurship, and Technology program pursuing a dual degree in EECS + Business. His combination of passion lies in the creator economy. He is interested in how he can better help explore the passion of creators and entrepreneurs as well as what are the different channels that they can use to actually take their past actions and create into a business.
Deepak Dutt- Deepak has a wide range of experiences working between startups and large global corporations, like Paypal, Square Google. In his latest role in Zighra, he helps bring technologies like decentralized artificial intelligence, behavioural biometrics, and sensor analytics. Learning who's a real user behind a specific device or transaction in a very transparent manner, based on the way people sit, stand, walk, interact with their applications and such. At the end of the day, he is trying to protect every user when they transact in the digital world. His interest spans the creator economy and the entire decentralized concept.
The economy is constantly evolving, from gig economy to creator economy, what do you think would happen next?
The creator economy is a real validation for people or the creators today who are creating all the value from a digital perspective and being properly compensated for their contributions. A few years ago, people were on platforms including YouTube, and Instagram and such. Social media or gig economy platforms were using creators to meet an end and generate revenue. Creators were not the central drivers of value creation. They were not getting a lot of monetization for the value that they created. This is why the creator economy is necessary to shift that value to capture more of what creators create and give more control for the creators.
How do you describe the creator economy?
The creator economy model was mostly around one-way financial relationships with their audiences. Platforms such as YouTube only enable creators to make money out of the ad revenues. The direct connection between creators and fans never existed. However, the creator economy strengthens the connection by providing a two-way relationship so the creators know their fans, and the fans are happy that they can create a direct connection with the creators. We also see a few years ago, podcasting, hosting a YouTube channel and blogging were viewed as hobbies, not professions. But now they are viable paths for those who can channel the entrepreneurial spirit. Universities are teaching creators to run their businesses. Venture funds are looking to invest early in creative careers to help them scale their channels. Thousands of new companies are popping up every day to help creators in every aspect of their engagement with their fans. And this has led to a boom in the creator economy as now creators can actually view their passions as a possible professional interest.
What are the innovative options that we have for monetization in the creator economy?
Creator's passion is channelling crypto as a way of payment method. According to studies, from 2017 to 2019, there was around a 22% increase of pledges that were made on Patreon from consumers to creators. As creators started viewing and exploring their passions as a way of their profession, they also notice that many of the big techs, social media platforms were profiting from their labour. Instead of having big tech giants control and serve as the middlemen, crypto allows the creators to capture most of the value that they created by having a direct financial relationship with fans and prevent platforms along the way to take a lot larger cut around it. Cryptocurrencies provide that first concept for the creator economy from a payments perspective and go beyond the use cases around non-fungible and fungible tokens.
Why do you believe crypto is one of the innovative ways that we all should think about?
Before digital currency, we are in a centralized ecosystem to transfer money from one place to the other. If you send $100 from one end, after all the fees that are accounted for by the middlemen, you might only get $85 on the other end. Crypto brought on a huge value proposition. Bitcoin was one of the very early examples in the space to transfer money across a large network without going through the banks and having to incur those costs. The blockchain was the underlying technology for Bitcoin with a very secure inbuilt that enable immutability. It reduces the loss of value that happened along the way and becomes a core reason why crypto is becoming very popular now.
To what extent do you think crypto is used in our everyday lives and your vision for cypto in future?
We are still at the beginning of slowly integrating digital currency into our daily lives. Some countries such as Cardona uses crypto as a form of payment method. A lot of other countries rejected crypto. Today’s financial institutions are highly regulated by the government and account for most of the costs in the monetary system. Governments are having difficulty understanding how crypto works and what regulations should place in our systems. But even though crypto receives various responses from government institutions, it is true that we are seeing a huge revolution in crypto. If we look at the inflection point in the last 12 months, everything digital has been really accelerating due to the pandemic. Especially in the e-commerce space, what is foresee growing in the next 10 years, happened over a few months. Our vision for crypto is to become a mainstream currency. By decentralizing blockchain, breaking down the centralized regulatory, flatforms, or governance and having more people follow crypto, we can then increase the value and maintain it to get accepted as the mainstream currency.
What is the connection between crypto, creator economy and fan relationship? Why do you think creator economy startups should adopt cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency provides many possible advantages for the creator economy.
Economic Perspective: Creators can create tokens so their fans will get access to their specific or exclusive content and events. This allows creators and fans to build a very unique bond which they can grow together by not only receiving unique and very personal experiences but also increase the value of the coin from more and more usage. A strong economic force for success, meaning as the network grows, the coin system and creator grow as well.
Decentralize Perspective: Cryptocurrency takes the middleman out of the equation, such as payment methods Stripe and other finance FinTech companies or even the contents in YouTube, Facebook or other centralized platforms.
Value Perspective: Crypto provides interesting use cases such as NFT, a digital asset that represents a real-world object, including art, music, videos games or tweets. NFT creates a rolling value that helps creators generate revenues not only when they sell their creations for the first time but subsequent times that the creations are reselling.
Security Perspective: Crypto enables creators to reduce privacy issues because they can sign their creations and secured them on the blockchain. The crypto wallets, such as Philo and metal wallets, helps replace companies such as Stripe and other traditional banking institutions. This would have the backings of the immutable ledger of maintaining fraud, less infrastructure that cryptocurrencies and blockchains are based on and ensure that the creators are able to reap more of their work.
What are some mainstream passionate economy companies that invest or provide crypto for their creators?
Ripple.io would be one of the early adopters in the space where they are enabling creator coins to be built on top of aetherium. A lot of attractions are found and quite a few creators creating these coins. We're also going to see more companies coming into the market and come up with exciting opportunities. Spur is having cryptocurrency in its roadmap and is actively doing research on that space. The passion economy startup understands the backbone to success in the passion economy is the central focus for the creators, build things that are really going to enable their success in a very decentralized fashion.
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