- Portugal. The Man now has its own crypto.
- The group is distributing the token on Rally, an Ethereum-based social token network.
- The band hopes the token can help them establish a "direct connection" with its fans.
As COVID continues to cancel lucrative concert tours, musicians are struggling to find new ways to turn their fans’ adoration into sweet, sweet cash. One solution? Cryptocurrency.
Grammy Award-winning Portugal. The Man—likely known best for its hit single "Feel It Still"—is the latest band to jump on the crypto wagon.
Today, Portugal, The Man launched their very own cryptocurrency. Those who buy their tokens, called PTM coins, can spend them on merch, unreleased footage from the band’s gigs, a livestream party, and video and text chats with the band.
“We’ve always favored direct connections with our audiences,” said John Gourley, the lead singer of the rock band, which formed in 2004 in Portland, Oregon.
“COVID has taken a lot of this interaction online, so we’ve been looking for new ways to engage with our audience in entirely digital settings. Crypto gives us the opportunity to do just that.”
The tokens are launching on Rally, a social token network built on an Ethereum sidechain. Fans can use the tokens through social media app Discord.
Rally is different from other social token networks, such as Roll and Fyooz, in a few key respects.
Although Rally is built on an Ethereum sidechain, which means that some of the transactions don’t require validation from the Ethereum blockchain, Rally is governed by a decentralized autonomous organization, or a DAO.
This means that big bag holders can vote on who is allowed to mint a social token and boot out anyone it doesn’t like.
By contrast, Roll and Fyooz, its main competitors, take a centralized approach and onboard clients one-by-one. Fyooz paid for rapper Lil Yachty to mint Yachty Token, for instance.
Second, while Roll and Fyooz offer ERC-20 tokens, whose value is determined by any secondary markets that list them, the price of Rally’s tokens are tied to an algorithm.
The more coins in circulation, the more expensive it is to buy the coin. Coins are destroyed whenever anyone cashes them in to buy something; the price of the coins thus reflects the liquidity of the market. At launch, they'll cost about $1.
Gourley said that the band chose Rally upon the recommendation of its fans.
Portugal, The Man inherited 50,000 tokens upon starting the project, which are “designed to be held long-term,” Mahesh Vellanki, Co-Founder of Rally, told Decrypt.
Gourley said he is “excited about new revenue possibilities,” but his intention isn’t “to make a quick buck.”
Gourley is “mostly excited about the new ground that we are breaking—and the fact that we get to bring our fans along for the ride.”
If all goes well, Gourley and his fellow band members could sell those tokens for a profit. They could also “gain the ability to draw a steady income stream,” said Vellanki.
So could his fans. Gourley said the band has “gifted thousands of coins to some of our longest supporters already and will continue to do so.”