Square’s $297m stake in Jay Z’s Tidal could popularise blockchain

Square is to pay $297 million for a significant majority owner stake in Tidal, Jay-Z’s global music and entertainment platform, in a move that could help popularise blockchain.

On Twitter, the payment company’s chief executive said that that it will “create ecosystems of tools for sellers and individuals” for artists on the platform and “bring fans closer together” using simple integrations for merchandise sales, modern collaboration tools, and new revenue streams.

Avivah Litan, technology analyst at Gartner, told Reuters that the new offerings could take advantage of technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrencies which she said Square co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey “views highly.”

“You need the applications to drive the new economy,” Litan told Reuters. “No one’s going to just go get a cryptocurrency wallet if there’s nothing to buy.”

According to the news agency, Dorsey has supported ‘decentralisation’ technologies like blockchain because they allow the storage of data and process transactions without relying on tech giants and other service providers that profit from being ‘gatekeepers.’

In his announcement of the Tidal buyout, Square boss Jack Dorsey said:“It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work.

“New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy. I knew Tidal was something special as soon as I experienced it, and it will continue to be the best home for music, musicians, and culture.”

Founder of Tidal, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, said: “I said from the beginning that Tidal was about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers.”

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