Success! I’m Teaming Up With Five Local Music Influencers To Launch a Steem-Powered Venue in Raleigh :-)

in #steemit4 years ago

Last night I met with some of Raleigh’s best musicians to talk about steem.

The Meeting: From Bitcoin to Steem

There were six of us in the room. Elijah Melanson ( @emelanson) was there - he's my bandmate in The Walding Family, and he's the one who originally introduced me to the group.

These guys once ran a legendary local house venue, The Kosher Hut, which shut down earlier this year after the landlord sold the property. They are the former tenants, bookers, and facilitators of the venue.

They had one question for me: WTF is Steem?

Nobody other than Elijah had any idea what steem was. I asked them if they had ever heard of bitcoin.

Their eyes lit up - they knew of bitcoin. “Yeah, I knew a weird fuckin dude in high school who used that stuff to buy shit online - he’s a multi-millionaire now. Are you one of those crypto-millionaires?”

$$$ crypto millionares $$$

I’m not - steem is my first major crypto investment - but I was happy to see that every person in the room was aware of bitcoin. For better or worse, they’d heard about it. I explained the history of Satoshi and bitcoin, pulling a few quotes from The Sovereign Individual (1997) to show that the ideas of cryptocurrency went back decades.

Most importantly, I emphasized this: “Bitcoin has been around for about nine years now - and it’s never been hacked.”

Logan, the business-minded member of the team, had a wonderful response: “Of course not- it’s blockchain. You can’t hack it, I understand that.”

You never know what people are going to think about bitcoin, or blockchain in general - so I was absolutely stoked to see that these guys got it on some level. They weren’t bitcoin owners, but they understood that blockchain is a safe and secure system. I could tell that they were ready to learn about altcoins.

Explaining Altcoins

“Has anybody here heard of Ethereum?”

This time, nobody nodded. The silence hung in the air for a second, a unanimous shaking of heads: no. Here was where my explanatory skills would be put to the test.

“Ethereum was created by this young genius, Vtalik Buterin, on the idea that you could have a programmable blockchain. A blockchain program, or "smart contract," works on the same principle that a vending machine does. When you use a vending machine, you enter an agreement to give it a certain amount of money for a soda - and the machine gives you any excess money back. In other words…”

The original smart contract. Source: Pixabay

“Imagine a soda costs $2. You put a five dollar bill into the machine. The contract is simple: The machine will give you the soda, plus three dollars, after you give it five dollars. Smart contracts are like that, but with way more options.”

Logan asked a few more questions, and I admitted that I don’t understand the specifics of smart contracts super well. Nonetheless, I had one more example up my sleeve.

“OK, here’s one more example - this is the last one I can give, basically - think about a multi-signature cryptocurrency wallet. If Joe, John, and Jessica all put $1,000 into a wallet, they can set it up so that at least two of them need to be present to withdraw funds. Then if Joe gets desperate and tries to withdraw money alone, he can’t - because the smart contract says that two out of three keys must be there.”

The group nodded in affirmation. They could grasp the general concept.

“So what about Steem?”

We were closing in on the central question: How can we raise money to fund a local venue via the blockchain? It was time to explain steem.

“It’s a lot like reddit - except upvotes generate money. The thing is, it isn’t a purely democratic system - one vote does not equal one ‘point’ like on reddit. Instead, the amount of steem that you hold determines your proportional share of voting power.”

“It’s an inflationary currency, so right now it inflates by about 8% each year. That will go down to a final rate of about 1%, where it stays forever, in 20 years. It’s a gradual decline between now and then. The newly minted cash is distributed via a daily ‘reward pool,’ and that’s what the votes are allocating.”

inflation isn’t always bad :-) // source: pixabay

Of course, there were many questions. I showed them my steem wallet & explained that all wallets are public. I went on to explain the difference between steem, steem dollars, and steem power. I even showed them how I can withdraw money to USD by selling steem on bittrex and then cashing out litecoins through my Coinbase account.

It’s a lot of info, and I had to move slowly, patiently. There were a lot of good questions, and a reasonable amount of skepticism. Yet, by the end of the conversation, I knew the group was very excited about what steem has to offer.

Logan gave it a conditional seal of approval: “Yeah, I think this looks legit. I need to play with it for a few weeks before I can be sure - but if I do that and feel good about it, I think we should do this.”

The group nodded in agreement.


It’s happening! We now have a team of six people who are determined to launch a music venue in Raleigh, partially funded by the steem blockchain.

Logan and the rest of the group are going to poke around steem for a few weeks with personal accounts to see how it all works. They’ll get some experience and develop more comfort with the system. As soon as they are ready, we will set up an official account for the venue and start raising funds.

I’ll be providing more updates - once or twice a week for now - through my own account. Once the venue account is created, all this info will shift over there and official fundraising (with all the necessary checks and balances) will begin.

Right now, all I need is for steem to keep being as awesome as it is. In the near future, I’ll outline the fundraising plan. That’s when this project really gets going.

Do you have any questions or comments so far? I’d love to hear your feedback… let’s talk about it in the comments :-)


This is awesome. I'm involved in DIY music in NYC, been touring in bands & reieasing music for other artists via a label I run for years and the possibilities here in terms of Steem facilitating "tactile" projects are extremely appealing to me. I'm involved in a space here called Silent Barn in which a team of developers here launched an independent fundraising platform called I think the real future of underground arts will utilize both models & clearly the relationship to monetized content is amazing for creatives. When are you planning on opening? I travel to Raleigh often & would be stoked to hit a show.

Nice dude I've been to several shows at The Silent Barn, you are legendary! I used to live in Brooklyn before moving down here (rent is $300 per month for me here, soooo yea lol)

This specific idea of opening a steem-powered venue hasn't really panned out - but I'm already moving on to new stuff. Right now we're using a decentralized process to create the definitive "Musician's Guide for Steemit" to help other musicians join on here.

I feel like Steemit is a huge resource for the kind of thing that Silent Barn stands for - empowering DIY musicians regardless of personal identity, social status, etc. Any musician with a computer, regardless of their personal story or situation, can get on here and start earning money to improve their life (or fund music projects, etc)

I basically see Steem as a giant bucket of money that I'm trying to funnel into the DIY music scene as hard as I can haha

Please do be in touch when you're planning to come to Raleigh next, dude! I live right near downtown within striking distance of at least half a dozen great indie-minded venues. We should definitely grab coffee next time you come down here, it sounds like we have a lot in common.

Love it dude & im with you on all points. Even if the venue doesn't pan out it's a great thought experiment at minimum. Truly a big future here for the arts especially DIY music. I'll be in touch no doubt!

Great project and increasing visibility

That's the goal - more visibility and supporting artists.

that is rad. im going to share this article with the facebook group DIY chicago, of about 15,000 members, all involved in the chicago music scene, and DIY venues.

Awesome dude thank you.

Dude this is such an awesome idea! As a musician myself I totally dig the idea. I'm just getting super into steemit myself but I love it. If there's anyway for me to get involved please let me know! I escaped the hurricane by going on a road trip to North Carolina .. man was it beautiful I had no idea. We were right around Asheville, how close is raleigh ? I got to see a few waterfalls which was great but anyway man I'd love to connect and who knows. North Carolina is on my list of possible places to live lol

Asheville is pretty far, I think 5 or 6 hours away. It is supposed to be awesome there though, lots of creativity and arts. I'll definitely let you know if you can get involved, for now the best way to help is just to resteem posts about the venue for visibility :-)

I love this idea. But how you are actually going to raise enough Steem? Obviously an account for the venue that gets lots of votes will be a start. But beyond that, are you looking for donations? Investors? Selling tickets to shows for Steem?

Investment via Steem sounds like an intriguing idea. I'd be curious what technical/legal mechanism could be built to enforce contracts. I think some attorneys might need to get involved.

Very good question. It's important to first state that not 100% of the money needs to raised through steem. The previous incarnation of the venue was funded entirely out of pocket by the team, so even if I can provide 50% of the operating expenses via the venue account (~$1,500 per month), that would make a huge difference at the start.

The question then becomes: How to generate that much with a venue account? I'm working on a content strategy now so that we can post one high quality thread per day. The @sndbox team has pledged to offer 1-per-day upvote support. If I can rally up a few more powerful influencers to promise me some amount of upvote support, we can achieve a steady $50+ per day of steem.

We'll have to power down to access half that money - so the income will build up over the first few months. I hope to run the venue account (with the team, some kind of multisig solution TBD) for a month BEFORE we start renting the building, as a proof of concept & to raise some initial funds.

The whole thing will be fully transparent and accountable, such that whenever a steem is cashed out, that money is accounted for with photographic evidence that it went to the right place via receipts. We'll see if this model works, and if not, we'll try alternatives.

I'm fascinated to see how this develops. You're right - a few high-powered votes a day from the right members could really work wonders, and would do a lot to publicize Steem as well.

Fantastic Matt! Congratulation.

Maybe offer Instant Live soundboard recordings of shows that can be purchased with a Steem Wallet?

IN any case, great news!!!!

Amazing idea! Instant live recordings!! Maybe we could live stream the shows, accept steem donations for the band/venue, and then everybody who donates at least $1 SBD can have the audio file emailed to them right after :-).

That sounds like an swesome initiative Matt-- wish you all the best with it! I really like how we're starting to see more and more projects that move "offline" while using Steem/Steemit.

I guess let everyone know when your friends sign up so we can give them a proper Steemit welcome!

Just the post I was looking for I am hosting my first event Sunday thanks for sharing look forward to hearing the new tunes dude!

amazing matt, Congratulations . All the best with your project

thank you navjot

I like the way and how fast this is progressing. Weldone Matt.

I Congratulate you on this great blog
Keep going my friend

Thats exciting news for you guys. I will keep watching for updates about it.

Duude, this is so f***ing great, forgive the "f word". I always saw stemmit as a sort of blogging platform where I could just make some dough by posting, thanks to what you I now see tons of potential through the steem blockchain..... I really wish you the very best in your undertaking and I hope your business booms from here on.....

Feel free to say "fuck" in my conments section lol this is very much an uncensored blog. Thank you for your support. :-)

Fuck yeah....LOL

Thx for a dope post. Steemon. I had to screen shot that vending machine pic. Pure genius way to explain it to my buds.thx again i def upvoted!

You are welcome. I can't take credit for the vending machine idea - I believe it was Nick Szabo who first came up with that metaphor for smart contracts when he started writing about them in the 90's

wow. 90's im truly in the stone age with this crypto thing. i am reading and learning tons now a days. this website seems to have all the newsest resourses.

Ya this is a great place to learn about blockchain.

Coin Marketplace

STEEM 0.40
TRX 0.07
JST 0.050
BTC 41972.18
ETH 3179.22
USDT 1.00
SBD 4.65