Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is funding a major decentralized audio streaming service through its investment and incubation arm.
According to an Oct. 23 announcement, Binance Labs led a $1.25 million extension round for Audius, a blockchain-enabled streaming service that connects music fans with artists.
The latest investment round follows a $3.1 million round co-led by Multicoin Capital and Blockchange Ventures in July 2020. Major industry players like Pantera Capital and Coinbase Ventures also participated in the round, as previously announced.
According to Audius Co-founder and CEO Roneil Rumburg, the latest rounds brings the platform's total investment up to $9.8 million. Rumburg told Cointelegraph that it will use the funds to help artists grow and expand their listener base within the system.
Launched in 2018, Audius is a decentralized music-sharing and streaming protocol designed to facilitate direct transactions between listeners and artists. Some prominent creators signed up for Audius include Portland-based Portuguese-American musician RAC, Canadian electronic music producer deadmau5, and American DJ Justin David Blau, better known as 3LAU.
According to the protocol’s white paper, the Audius content ledger is the “amalgamation” of smart contracts on the Ethereum network, while different parts of the protocol are set to be running on different blockchain-based platforms.
On Oct. 8, the startup launched the platform’s native Audius token (AUDIO). The token’s functionality includes security, feature access and governance. AUDIO can be earned by users to impact future protocol upgrades.
Developments in crypto and blockchain technology are attracting more and more artists in the music industry. In late September, French DJ David Guetta secured a deal with crypto-focused virtual reality platform Sensorium Galaxy.