Akin Adebowale and Ousman Sahko have unveiled BTX, a new crypto and non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace designed to assist black artists. The project was revealed at this year’s SXSW festival along with a new cryptocurrency called Blackrose (BRS) that will serve as the platform’s official asset.
BTX Is Ready for Launch
Both Adebowale and Sahko stated in an interview that they are truly excited about the developments being made in the crypto space given that digital currency and blockchain can allow the African American community to gain financial independence. It can also help establish lasting, deep relationships between artists and their fans and allow these artists to have more control over their assets and careers.
What we’ve seen and why this came to exist is seeing the creator economy shift from social capital to creator capital. The economic value went to the platform and not the creators. Black creators make significantly less. It’s what we built the actual platform on. Modern business will continue to have a major shift in business model from advertising, and this allows our product to explore virtual ways to express identity through content. It’s an exciting era for Web 3.0.
Jasmine Cogdell is the vice president of marketing for the company. She believes that the open record system and transparency of blockchain technology will be a huge clincher in the establishment of future black artists given that so many companies allegedly claim to provide support for them, yet they don’t. She said:
The world is moving into Web 3.0 regardless, and we’re able to take charge in a space dominated by white people. This is built with the intention to help the masses instead of retrofitting. Even with the power of Blackrose, a percentage is already going to be used for community efforts. It was built that way, and that alone will help future generations and that is super powerful.
Helping Artists Have More Control
BTX was made to help black artists retain more revenue and have opportunities to openly connect with their fans. These fans can then earn rewards for their interactions and take stands in the artists’ causes. Adebowale says that BTX was built atop the Ethereum blockchain given its smart contract capabilities, speed, and its long history with NFTs. He said:
It’s utility. That’s the idea. When you look at the technology and what you can do, it’s beyond collectibles. It’s about royalties, dividends, real world conversions, ticketing, and doing fractional ownership on content. There is so much that supports the creative space. Utility will be the longevity of the space.
The pair began establishing the company about two years ago after raising nearly $4 million through a seed funding round. The event was led by Connect Ventures and featured African American celebrities such as musician Common and actress and producer Issa Rae.