Blockchain Startup Raises $2 Million for Intellectual Property Solution

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A startup that uses the bitcoin blockchain to establish digital ownership of art and other creative works has raised $2m in seed funding. Ascribe received backing from Earlybird Venture Capital, Digital Currency Group, Freelands Ventures and a group of angel investors, according to a report by TechCrunch. Founder Bruce Pon told the news outlet that the idea for the product first took shape in 2013, explaining: “The idea to use blockchain to allow artists to create digital scarcity germinated in mid-2013 when [founders] Trent and Masha [McConaghy] asked ‘Can you own digital art like you own bitcoin?’” The prototype for the project, Pon explained, was built by McConaghy in fall of 2013, with the founders leaving to pursue the project full time in 2014. “Since then, we’ve been refining the technology and working with early users,” he continued. Artists that use ascribe essentially create digital deeds for their work, which are then subsequently time-stamped onto the bitcoin blockchain. As shown below, once a file is uploaded to Ascribe, it creates a digital certificate that can be then be traded, tracked or loaned, thereby creating a chain of ownership for that work.                   Proof of the transaction can then …

MovieTickets.com Brings Bitcoin to Over 900 US Movie Theaters

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MovieTickets.com, one of the largest movie ticket purchasing platforms in the US, now enables movie-goers to buy movie tickets with bitcoin at 985 theaters. The move was made possible through an integration with bitcoin payment processor GoCoin. As a result, theater chains that use the credit card processing services offered by MovieTickets.com will be able to accept bitcoin for any film offered. GoCoin CEO Steve Beauregard indicated that this includes Regal Cinemas, the nation’s largest theater chain with more than 500 locations. Holdouts notably include AMC Theaters, which itself boasts more than 300 locations in North America. The partnership is the latest betwen GoCoin and a movie industry firm, following the May announcement that it was in talks with production studio Lionsgate Films. Beauregard told CoinDesk: “We think that the future of digital content is being able to use digital currencies to purchase content.” The promotion was inspired by the promotional strategy for Dope, the hit indie film that scored big at Sundance and earned high-profile celebrity fans from James Franco to Russell Simmons. MovieTickets.com CEO Joel Cohen suggested that, however, the company saw the potential in enabling the technology in more of its offerings. “Our intention is to keep the option available beyond the film’s …

How Bitcoin’s Technology Could Make Supply Chains More Transparent

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Reid Williams is a senior designer and engineer at IDEO Futures, where he works at the intersection of technology, design, and new venture creation. Alongside Joe Gerber, he is kicking off the Bits + Blocks Lab, a pop-up blockchain startup creation lab hosted at the Harvard Innovation Lab. This post, which examines how the technology behind bitcoin could make supply chains much more transparent, is part of the Humans + Bits + Blocks series. Where does stuff come from? Whether we buy a taco or an iPhone, we’re at the receiving end of a supply chain that often stretches around the globe. Usually we don’t think much about it, and this is a good thing. But sometimes it’s important to know more. Taking a bite out of a taco involves a certain amount of trust: trust that the kitchen that made the taco is sanitary, that the ingredients that went into it are fresh, and that the taco tastes good. This trust is critical, but there’s so much more we could know. We could create entirely new relationships with the stuff we buy, namely where it came from and how it arrived in our hands. Blockchains offer a way to introduce transparency …