DropStar : A new stage of Evolution
by Vikas Bhola, Co-founder and CEO DropStar
DropStar : A new stage of Evolution
Before we dive into talking about DropStar, NFTs and all the good stuff. Let’s decipher this code called Web 3. The easiest way I can describe it is by taking you back in time and sharing how the internet has evolved in 3 phases:
Evolution of Internet
- Web 1 (1990–2005) — Information Economy: It was all about creating the internet, setting up the infrastructure and providing access to information. Frankly, all you could really do was read. Netscape and Yahoo news dominated… yes, I am talking about that era. It wasn’t a great experience giving birth to
- Web 2 (2005–2020) — Platform Economy: New technologies like social media, cloud computing and smartphones expanded the world of the internet beyond what was once believed possible with web1. For the first time we can directly communicate and trade, which inturn started the creator economy. However, the problem with web2 is what made it special … PLATFORMs… companies like facebook, google and spotify have become massive and have too much control. They own our data, disregard our privacy and ultimately controls our ability to monetise our own creativity. But this year, we entered web3
- Web3 (2021 — ?) — Token Economy: Thanks to AI and Blockchain, web3 puts the power back in our hands… the people! Web3 describes an internet owned by users & builders that’s orchestrated by tokens such as NFTs and more. Tokens solve the problem of web2 by codifying property rights in the digital world or in a way ownership of digital items also called as Smart Contracts. These NFTs/ digital certificates/ Smart contracts are stored in a distributed ledger and not a centralised database which could go away when that company is acquired or goes bankrupt or gets hacked. The internet — we think — is forever and therefore the NFTs are too.
RISE to DropStar: new direction, new name!
Before we go into our name change, a short background story — I started immersing myself in web3 and applications of blockchain since I left my previous role at Booking.com. I am convinced that the world is not evenly set up and quite largely too polarised (data suggests so) for people to do their best work. As Director for Asia at Booking.com, I was managing large diverse teams across geographies and I learnt that it’s the people that create value in this world and creativity is everywhere. Yet, many people struggle professionally. Statistically, 85% of people are unhappy in their jobs. Lack of creative freedom is one of the top reasons for this dissatisfaction, while money and a sense of community are the main reasons for them to nevertheless stay in their jobs. No wonder we saw the great resignation recently.
With this thought, we (Rebecca and I) started to build RISE — A social token network that empowers creators to launch their branded social tokens (ERC-20/fungible tokens). These tokens could be used as a tool to be independent and basically empower anyone to live their passion, to do their best creative work. One could fundraise with these tokens, unlock access to exclusive content, and use it as a way to reward and strengthen the community in the form of a DAO (I will talk more about DAOs another time).
So, we very quickly and scrappily scrambled to launch social tokens. This is what we learnt :
- Creators need utility of these tokens and need rich content to continue to invite their community to buy and hold these tokens
- Community DAOs are still quite early in the Creator Economy (especially in Europe) and hence we were spending almost 90% of our time educating Creators.
- Electronic music artists (& digital artists) had higher conversion along with high intent towards crypto and tokenising their work. In a way, screaming at us — we need web3’s help.
As it’s said, “fall in love with the problem and not the solution”. As we started researching more about the space and artist challenges we learnt that the music industry is quite unfairly structured. The music industry as a whole has been accelerating with a double digit growth in the last 5 years. However, only 12% of the earnings of the $45B music industry goes to the artists.
We are based in Germany, the hub of Electronic music. This is the niche we decided to build DropStar for mainly due to access, affinity to crypto (&NFTs) and rebel mentality.
Making Music Collectible
With our new direction, we renamed our project to ‘DropStar’, as we explore how NFTs can rescue the trapped music artists from the web of ‘the middle-men’.
As it stands today, fans are merely consumers who participate in an artists’ economy by listening to their music. Some super fans also directly engage with and support artists on platforms like Patreon and Kickstarter. But fans can be so much more, investors, collaborators, a community and collectors.
The hype surrounding NFTs has led many to suggest this new technology is nothing more than a bubble. Their practicality suggests otherwise. If we move beyond the speculation, NFTs have the potential to provide new revenue opportunities and disrupt how music is experienced by bridging the gap between musicians and their fans. NFTs are also the infrastructure layer as the internet heads towards an alternate world that everyone is talking about, ‘Metaverse’. Now, experiencing music in the Metaverse sounds very cool.
In my next article, I will be talking about Music NFTs and its use cases in detail. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments! And don’t forget to sign up for regular updates as well as early beta product access here. You can also follow us on :