Indie music multi-hyphenate EMPIRE is offering artists the option to receive advances in Bitcoin through Cash App, the company announced Tuesday (Nov. 9), with the first artist to receive an advance that way being Money Man. The Atlanta MC has a long history with the technology and his new single “Blockchain,” released Friday, is off his newly-announced, forthcoming album of the same name, out this week.
According to the company, Money Man took a $1 million advance through the decentralized digital currency, which equates to just under 15 Bitcoin at current valuation, or the equivalent of around $68,000 per digital token. Money Man has been vocal about his investments in cryptocurrencies in the past, saying that he used the profits from his early dip into Bitcoin to help buy himself out of his Cash Money Records deal several years ago.
This new advance payment system is one option that EMPIRE says will be part of a new way to “innovate financial tools” for those artists it works with. “Money Man is a progressive thinker and has his thumb on the crypto pulse,” EMPIRE founder/CEO Ghazi told Billboard. “It felt organic to start with him as our first-ever artist to receive an EMPIRE advance in BTC as we begin to innovate financial tools for our partners.”
Ghazi and Money Man have also been on the forefront of this trend of late, even appearing on a panel together in June called, appropriately, “Pay Me In Bitcoin” at the Bitcoin 2021 conference alongside NFL players Russell Okung and Sean Culkin and Zap Solutions founder Jack Mallers.
This announcement follows a growing trend of music companies announcing they will either accept Bitcoin as payment, as Beatport recently has, or pay royalties in Bitcoin, as Prescription Songs just did. In a related vein, several producers and artists have announced their own cryptocurrencies in recent years, while the NFT craze has shined a brighter light on the space.