#seanaps festival

SeaNaps is a new art & tech festival that took place last weekend in Leipzig (07. – 10. September) with free outdoor concerts, workshops, conferences.
They launched a blockchain experiment for a real-time revenue share of festival income on the blockchain.
SeaNaps created its own model of payment, based fair trade and social economy principles, creating a RFID festival bracelet with a keypair that acts as a wallet . You could pay with Euro and get your #crypto #rfid festival bracelet and start paying your food and drinks at the festival with the bracelet. The income was distributed on the fly:

  • Transparency of payments
  • Distribution of risks and trust
  • Protection and certification of Identity and intellectual property
  • Creation of intelligent contracts for wealth re-partition among different contributors to the same project


How it works

  • Each artist/group got a fixed minimum payment agreed and secured, in euro and independently from the success of the festival.
  • All payments made during the time of the festival were executed “contact-less” thanks to bracelets given to festival goers with a RFID cheap incorporated, and were used at the seller’s terminals in order to charge or un-charge with a digital transitory currency, called the “Lip”.
  • Before the festival all parties participating at the conference (the festival organizers, volunteers, gastronomy, products suppliers, artists) agreed on an official distribution key. Since the festival was free of charge, all food, drinks & other products sold on the festival premises shared their revenues with the volunteers and artists who had no direct income based on the pre defined distribution key. This distribution key was coded into a smart contract that ran on the rippe blockchain (chosen for it’s low transaction costs) that triggered automated revenue share each time payment was conducted with an RFID bracelet.
  • This means that every time a drink or a slice of food was sold (via a festival-goer flashing his/her bracelet for the sum required), the money used to pay it automatically split (in the proportions decided before) and go in direction of the “wallets”, collecting their due share on this sum (x% to gastronomy supplier’s wallet, y% to the wallet of the artists playing the day of the selling, z% to the security company’s wallet, etc.).

The whole process of establishment of the distribution key and its execution was public, documented, and followed as an economical, political and sociological experiment, which aims at finding new ways to evaluate artists influence and importance in the economy of a cultural event, and on the local economy hosting it.

SeaNaps is the first European experiment for a blockchain application of this sort, addressing the live-music industry.


Why blockchain?

The organizers believe that there is a failure in the way those mainstream circuits are paying the artist and wanted to create an alternative system, making the sytem more transparent and loweing transaction costs. Currently many fees taken by various third parties, mainly banking and financial entities, and the artist almost always ends up being the last – and less – paid. Their smart contract powered RFID wallet allowed:

  • Formalize agreements
    and contracts made between all the partners of the festival (including furnishers, goods sellers, security providers, and of course musicians), to make it transparent, fair for all, and unquestionable. To get them involved and interested in working together is both the condition and consequence of this plan.
  • Provide instant percentage
    for all artists performing during the Festival, on each product sold thanks to their presence and work. An example? Imagine a beer being sold for four Euros in one of our food trucks. Our wish is to implement a smart contract on this transaction and all other ones, specifying that 70% of it will go to the person selling the beer, that 10% would go to the musicians playing the day that beer is sold, that 10% goes to the persons providing security, that 5% would be dedicated to paying the personal maintaining the toilet area clean (the more beer, the more steps towards a WC) and 5% to an association working for local development. Note: this percentage rate is just an example; it will be transparently decided by all partners involved before the festival.
  • Raise awareness
    for festival goers on the direction their money is taking once they have spent it. To question the way our cultural economical system is considering the artists work. At a time in which the traditional and monopolistic music industry has shown its limits and yet continues on exploiting the 99,9% of artists who are not rich and famous, it is up to us to propose other solutions, be it for live or recorded music.


The LIP – SeaNap Currency

The festival create what they refer to as a “Shadow currency”:

  • It is called the “Lip” (1 Lip, 2 Lips)
  • It looks like this: “l1”. (can you spot the leipziger “Hochhaus” silhouette ?)
  • It is indexed on euros (1 Lip = 1 Euro).
  • It is implemented using the Ripple Blockchain, as well as the smart contract that runs with it.
  • Both at the Festival’s and in partners’ locations around town, all transactions will be recorded on a Blockchain based ledger, allowing each one (partners, festival goers, etc.) to check where the money goes. Thereby, it will also provide a real time accounting for the festival.

Why didn’t the use Bitcoin or Ether?

  • Opening and funding an ETH or BTC wallet with Euros is too complex and intrusive for just attending a festival. One needs 2 days with a platform like Kraken and needs to provide sensible information (id information, selfie with id card, proof of residence). We can’t propose this to persons who just want the piece of pizza they see on the counter to end up in their stomach within 30 seconds.
  • Ether or Bitcoin price are too volatile with respect to Euro for our situation. We don’t want to take any risk in the payment of our artists, and it might also scare some non informed festival-goers.
  • Because as any experiment, ours need to have a date of start and a date of end, and creating the currency for it is possible and makes it accurately observable.
  • Because the fact of creating a currency that is both taking a local (usable online but mainly concerning physical and local interactions at first and questioning the way the local economy can be invested by its inhabitants) and a worldwide perspective (using the nationless aspect and world computering possibilities of the blockchain) is making it twice more interesting.
  • Because its neutrality will also allow it to stay out of parish strife such as the one opposing Bitcoin to Ether. For that reason, we are also opening the door to any blockchain community wanting to try implementing their model to this particular problem. Our datas will be public, and can be implemented on the bitcoin blockchain on parallel to the Ethereum one. The research’s outcomes would benefit from this opening of perspectives and methods.


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