Authors: Tuhu Nugraha and Adrian Zakhary*
Undeniably, blockchain technology plays a pivotal role across various industry sectors, notably in the creative economy. Its ability to ensure transparency, security, and efficiency has paved the way for creative industry players to innovate and expand their reach. Amid the wave of the industry 4.0 revolution, a profound understanding of blockchain’s potential and application in the creative realm is crucial. Illustrating this significance, the Future Blockchain Summit, held as part of the Gitex Global 2023 event series, delivered key discussions on the intersection of blockchain and creative innovation.
Blockchain and Augmented Reality Innovation at the Future Blockchain Summit
Held in Dubai from October 15-18, 2023, the Future Blockchain Summit gathered over 10,000 blockchain and tech professionals, business leaders, changemakers, entrepreneurs, and senior practitioners. Over four days, they collectively shared findings and insights alongside prominent blockchain companies and startups worldwide.
A standout moment featured a presentation by Maja Labs in collaboration with the Drezzo Community from Bali, Indonesia. At this event in Dubai Harbour, Drezzo by Maja Labs showcased their Augmented Reality (AR) innovation, enabling fashion to be visualized and experienced through screens. Visitors to the Drezzo booth had the opportunity to feel the sensation of wearing digital clothing via AR tech. Currently, Drezzo boasts over 180,000 collectors globally.
Blockchain and the Creative Economy in Indonesia
Blessed with rich culture, Indonesia shines in the creative economy sector. However, challenges like copyright and artwork distribution frequently arise. To address these issues, many creative industry players turn to blockchain. This technology guarantees artwork distribution with transparency and security while minimizing plagiarism risks. According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, the nation’s creative economy ranks third globally, following the U.S. and South Korea, contributing a value-add of IDR 1,300 trillion.
Various creative sectors in Indonesia, such as film, music, fashion, and arts, have bravely adopted this technology. For instance, in the music sector, royalties are distributed more transparently. Meanwhile, the film industry enjoys assured distribution of authentic content, reducing piracy. Digital artists have also been selling their works via non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Moreover, local fashion brands can now verify product authenticity. With this, Indonesia not only strengthens its domestic creative industry but also broadens its global reach.
Transparency, Efficiency, and Augmented Reality through Blockchain
The collaboration between Maja Labs and the Drezzo Community combines Augmented Reality (AR) with blockchain, creating a revolutionary consumer experience. AR offers interactivity that allows consumers to engage with digital objects in the real world, while blockchain ensures the authenticity and originality of the product. Personalization based on user data further enhances this, enabling more accurate consumer-centric recommendations.
Economically, the integration of AR and blockchain presents vast potential. The market can expand, appealing to a younger, tech-savvy consumer base. Furthermore, new business models arise, such as selling tokens granting access to AR experiences or purchasing virtual goods. Consumer trust escalates due to the authenticity provided by blockchain, promising higher customer loyalty and innovative inter-industry collaborations.
Another creative industry poised to benefit from blockchain is the film sector. Using blockchain, filmmakers can distribute their works directly to viewers without relying on distributors or theaters. This direct-to-consumer model ensures fairer revenue distribution for all involved in film production. Transparent transaction records also enable producers to accurately gauge viewer statistics, formulating more targeted marketing strategies.
Opportunities for Developing Nations
The creative industry has shown significant contributions to a country’s GDP, especially in developing nations. As per UNCTAD (2019), this sector propels economic growth through goods and services production and sales, job creation, and boosting cultural exports and tourism. The global creative economy stands at $2.25 trillion, encompassing media, design, and cultural tourism sectors. In 2018, the creative sector contributed 4.4% to the EU’s GDP, approximately $760 billion (E&Y, 2019).
In the digital era, developing countries have a golden opportunity to showcase their creative works on a global stage with blockchain’s assistance. For instance, Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry, among the world’s largest, often faces losses due to illegal distribution. Blockchain can optimize film distribution, reducing counterfeits, ensuring fair compensation for producers and actors, and guaranteeing consumer quality assurance. This tech not only vouches for work authenticity but also streamlines international transactions, facilitating efficient cross-border collaborations.
In today’s global landscape, blockchain technology harbors immense potential for the future of the creative economy. Collaborations, like the one between Maja Labs and Drezzo, depict how merging these technologies can forge innovative and distinctive products and experiences.
Indonesia, as a culturally rich developing nation with a vast creative demographic, has showcased progressive strides in harnessing this potential. Yet, similar potential resides in many other developing countries with equally rich cultural heritages and competent human resources. When developing nations integrate blockchain and AR, not only does the creative economy benefit, but they can also address developmental challenges such as transparency, global market accessibility, and intellectual property rights. With proper adoption and international collaborations, this technology could catalyze the creative economic growth in developing countries, granting them a stronger voice and strategic position on the global stage.
*Adrian Zakhary, Founder of Maja Labs & Chairman of Web3 ICCN