Beyond the quirky costumes and powerhouse vocals, Icelandic artist Björk has long been known as a trailblazer when it comes to both music and technology, and it seems that cryptocurrencies are the latest advancement to catch her eye.
Fellow fans of the alternative payment method will no doubt be excited to hear that when it drops on 24th November, they will be able to pick up Björk’s latest album, Utopia, using Bitcoins, or three lesser-known types of virtual currency – litecoin, dash and AudioCoin – when ordering through her label’s website, with the company having teamed up with London-based blockchain specialists, Blockpool.
Ahead of the game
It’s not the first time Björk has led the way with new technologies, with previous projects including everything from virtual reality music videos to specially commissioned instruments. In 2011, she was even credited with creating the world’s first ‘app album’, with her offering, Biophilia. Alongside traditional formats, the album was released as a series of apps, with each song incorporating a different aspect of nature and technology to teach children about musicology in a creative and interactive way. Its success led to the scheme being rolled out into school curriculums throughout the world. For a passion project and concept album to end up part of everyday education is testament to the power of a big-name endorsement in gaining interest and traction for previously obscure technologies. Fans of Bitcoin will no doubt be hoping that Björk’s magic touch will now extend to cryptocurrencies in the same way, sparking the attention of a whole new audience.
Breaking into the mainstream
As for her new album, traditionalists will still be able to make payment via the more familiar methods of credit card and PayPal transactions, so it seems that her label, One Little Indian, is well aware that not everyone has quite been won round to the merits of cryptocurrencies just yet, but in a bid to add a little extra incentive for those on the fence, fans who pre-order the album using Bitcoin, etc. will receive 100 AudioCoins, (worth about 20p) which can be exchanged or put towards purchasing more music. A small gesture perhaps, but one that shows they’re serious about promoting the use of cryptocurrencies as a valid option.
With an artist as widely respected and well-established as Björk putting her weight behind Bitcoin, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to presume that other artists and music labels may soon follow suit, taking us one step closer to seeing alternative payment methods becoming an increasingly big part of our mainstream spending habits.