FilmChain’s journey with blockchain

  • Start on a private blockchain. We were tempted to dive straight into using a permissionless, public blockchain. This was not an option during the research and development phase as we were faced with no flexibility, high transaction costs and too much visibility. We started on a private Ethereum blockchain and are aspiring towards migrating to a public one, giving us the freedom to make mistakes and address clients’ privacy and confidentiality concerns. In an industry where lawyers and confidentiality clauses dictate good standing business, we had to adapt the tech to meet requirements. While playing with permissionless, public blockchain, we found exciting startup companies out there that were laying the foundation of privacy preserving mechanisms on public chains. When methods of encryption will permit stratification of visibility and layers of access to different stakeholders that fulfil the obligations of our clients’ contract, we will explore public blockchains once again. While we are blockchain agnostic, we have found Ethereum a great provider for our needs.
  • Prepare for technical challenges. Blockchain is an emerging technology which poses many challenges. Solidity, the language we’ve used for programming our smart contracts, is under-developed with limited documentation and few verified and maintained libraries compared to mainstream languages. For us, the development phase required a lot of patience due to tasks taking longer than what we had predicted. On a positive note, we found the community of blockchain technologists vibrant and ready to help budding projects. There is a great sense of camaraderie and there are a lot of forums, gatherings, virtual or in-person meetups to discuss and solve challenges.
  • When speaking with clients, focus on the benefits and not the tech. Navigating the blockchain space can seem intimidating and overwhelming, with high knowledge-barriers to entry. When communicating with clients , we emphasise the benefits of the technology without delving too much into the technical details. This was key in order to gain adoption from global players in the film and TV space. Some clients were eager to learn more about the tech and asked fantastic questions once they understood the value added.
  • Embrace the stigma. There is a lot of stigma surrounding blockchain that may put off clients and investors. We’re coming out of the experimental and highly R&D stage of many blockchain pilots. Some projects promised the world and delivered little or nothing at all — others continue putting in the good work and show clear progress. Many pivoted along the way. In this landscape, it’s easy to see why the scepticism is high. We recommend to stay focused on fundamentals and don’t shy away from the hard questions from clients and potential investors. Once the value proposition and the use of blockchain are clear, defending the innovation is much easier.



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FilmChain is a collection agent for indie films and royalties management solution for enterprises.