dot.LA Summit: How Crypto Is Changing the Creative Industries

Maylin Tu
Maylin Tu is a freelance writer who lives in L.A. She writes about scooters, bikes and micro-mobility. Find her hovering by the cheese at your next local tech mixer.
dot.LA Summit: How Crypto Is Changing the Creative Industries

NFTs aren't just remaking investments but they are changing how entertainment is being produced and distributed.

Non fungible tokens were the focus of the panel with Scott Greenberg, CEO of Blockchain Creative Labs; Andrew Klungness, Partner at Fenwick & West LLP; and Michelle Munson, CEO of Eluvio.


"When you own an NFT, you actually own what we call a convertible electronic record on the blockchain. You own a space in a ledger," said Klungness. As an example, it's the difference between owning the record versus owning the commercial rights to the property, like owning a baseball card doesn't give you the right to use that image commercially.

The three spent the better part of 40 minutes addressing how NFTs are redefining the world of content and media distribution.

Greenberg, who is also a co-founder of Bento Box Entertainment, the animation studio that is bringing NFTs to television with Dan Harmon's new show "Krapopolis," said it's creating new relationships with fans.

"You're enabling fans and passionate communities to have ownership and utility with the creator and [for] the creator retain ownership," he said.

The show will be the first animated series curated entirely on the blockchain, selling NFTs of show art directly to fans.

As NFTs start to change the media space, companies and creators face legal and regulatory challenges due to the fast-growing nature of the technology. For example, there's the question of whether trading cryptocurrency makes you subject to money transmission laws.

"We'd like to move fast and make things, not break things, and it's just difficult to do so without regulatory clarity," Klungness said.

One of the key ways that companies can protect themselves and reduce the risk of breaking the law is to avoid dealing with sanctioned parties (such as terrorists and drug cartels) and banned wallet addresses.

But beyond these regulatory challenges, Michelle Munson touted NFTs as a prime way to reduce environmental impact by eliminating the energy costs of content creation and distribution. The panelists also hyped cryptocurrency's broad appeal to those closed out of more traditional markets.

"What's interesting about crypto, in my humble opinion, is that it affects everyone in a potentially very good way," Munson said.

And as for the future of cryptocurrency in the media space?

"Right now we're just talking about images -- JPEGs -- Eluvio enables 4k data streaming, beautiful video to be tokenized -- tied to your token," said Greenberg.

This panel was sponsored by Blockchain Creative Labs (BCL) and Fenwick & West LLP.

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Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Samson is also a proud member of the Transgender Journalists Association. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

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