Reggae enters crypto cultureMonday, September 13, 2021
BY KEDIESHA PERRY
CO-CREATOR of Cryptorastas, Marcus Menezes is hoping that the non-fungible token (NTF) will create additional revenue for investors as well as reggae artistes.
“Cryptorastas is the first NFT collection for the reggae culture, and it's a digital collectible artwork…When people buy the NFT, they are investing in a project that brings direct revenue for the artistes, and when the project grows, the people that invested get money back [since] the NFT gets [more] value,” Menezes told the Jamaica Observer.
Tiago Yaak is Cryptorasta's other co-creator.
NFT is a form of a digital certificate which confirms that a digital artwork is original and exclusive. This is done with blockchain technology — the same used to create bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. From there, artistes can sell their digital art such as jpg, gif, videos, and audios, and fans can invest in those pieces.
Digital artwork for acts such as Lee “Scratch” Perry, Sugar Minott, Kabaka Pyramid, Sly & Robbie, Jah9, Jesse Royal, Bushman, Yaadcore, Ranking Joe, Michah Shemaiah, Winston McAnuff and Suns of Dub are available for investment purposes. According to Menezes, all the necessary legal paperwork was done.
The initiative was officially launched on August 29. So far, 3,600 NFTs have been sold. They are available on cryptorastas.com.
After working with various reggae artistes on tours for many years, Menezes thought it would be a perfect way to contribute to the reggae culture.
“I researched and noticed that there was no one doing it, there was nothing about reggae in the NFT world, so I did it,” he said.
“I promote some shows in Brazil, I record and produce music with many artistes so I have a lot of friends in Jamaica and the Jamaican Diaspora. Next year I'll go to Jamaica or probably before that, depending on the pandemic,” added Menezes, who is the founder of Brazilian reggae sound system Digitaldubs.
The starting price for investment is approximately US$170.
Menezes added that there have been investors from all over the globe so far.
“We've sold almost 4,000 NFTs, and it's in the hands of people from Jamaica, from the US, Japan, Brazil… All these people are now a part of a community who are communicating with each other. When people buy Cryptorastas, they become a part of a community,” he said.
He also said that investing in the NFTs could be used to access other material from the listed artistes within the Cryptorastas community.
“In the near future we're gonna give access to exclusive merchandise like T-shirts, access to exclusive music, tickets to shows and festivals… Another great aspect is that these NFTs generate royalties that will forever bring in revenue to the artistes and value to the fans,” said Menezes.
He remains optimistic about the success of the NFTs.
“The NFT opens many new possibilities. We are all very excited about the next steps for the project,” Menezes added.