Grammy Award-winning American pop-rock band "Portugal. The Man" has launched a fan-focused cryptocurrency on the Ethereum-based Rally Network. Known as PTM Coin, the new token will reportedly grant fans exclusive access to various events and perks, including a livestream party, previously unreleased songs and more.
Fan tokens emerged as a growing trend in 2020, allowing artists and content creators (and even soccer players) to build virtual communities through token economies on the blockchain.
When Portugal. The Man releases an archive of unreleased performances to tokenholders on Friday, it will mark the first time Grammy Award-winning artists have used cryptocurrency to distribute new material.
Portugal. The Man is best known for the 2017 hit single “Feel It Still,” which sold an estimated 5 million copies in the United States and millions more worldwide. The band was formed by native Alaskans John Gourley, Zach Carothers, Kyle O’Quin, Zoe Manville, Jason Sechrist and Eric Howk, now residents of Portland, Oregon.
PTM Coin is hosted on Rally Network, a digital-asset platform built on an Ethereum sidechain that allows artists and content creators to build personalized “Creator Coins.”
John Gourlay, lead singer of Portugal. The Man, said the decision to launch a cryptocurrency for fans was motivated by a desire to encourage community growth while conferring ownership to the fans themselves:
“PTM has always been about having a direct connection with our audiences. We never felt good charging for Meet & Greets or for autographs and things like that. We looked long and hard for a solution that would allow us to embrace our community but also give them the opportunity to experience real ownership in what we are doing.”
Kevin Chou, co-founder of Rally, said the release of PTM Coin was “the most substantial artist social token launch” held in the cryptocurrency space to date and "the first time a global artist has partnered with their community to offer unreleased and live recordings.”
The concept of blockchain-based fan tokens took hold globally in 2020. Most notably, European soccer giant Barcelona began experimenting with the social token model in June, leading to a $1.3 million token sale tha sold out in two hours.