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DRM And Blockchains: An Interview with Bryce Weiner

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:46 PM
David McGlauflin
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:46 PM

For my first interview as a journalist, I have chosen a controversial figure that people either love or hate. In an interview with CCN.com, Bryce sits with me and we discuss his past and future with surprising revelations including his plans for future blockchains.

Bryce Weiner is 41 years old and a Bitcoin and fintech industry veteran, launching his first public, permissionless block chain in 2013. Prior to working in the blockchain technology space, Bryce began his career in the FM radio industry as an afternoon drive-time disc jockey.

He has subsequently enjoyed a successful 15-year software engineering and development career for companies such as Thomson Reuters Healthcare and Scientific and Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control Systems.He has operated several small businesses, including a coffee house and technology consulting firm.

Bryce has been an outspoken member of the Bitcoin sector, speaking specifically to the ethical implications of the implementation of Bitcoin, blockchain technology, and smart contracts. His unique perspectives have earned him numerous speaking engagements, interviews, and mentions in publications such as the International Business Times and Business Insider. He often serves in the capacity of fact validation for industry publications and has provided expert certification of evidence for the prosecution of crimes involving Bitcoin in the UK.

He continues to develop software frameworks for Bitcoin and blockchain applications, both financial and non-financial, for such organizations as Morgan Stanley and the Recording Industry Association of America.

Me: Recently, there has been an Aussie running around the internet claiming to be you. What do you have to say about that?

Bryce Weiner: I’m flattered.

There have been rumors that you may actually be Satoshi and it seems you have the skills to actually have created bitcoin. Would you like to comment or maybe produce a signed key from his wallet?

I enjoy those rumors and have fun with them from time to time.  There’s a list that used to go around of the top 10 people that were potential Satoshi’s.  Vitalik, Nick Szabo, myself, and some others.  I can neither confirm nor deny that I am Satoshi Nakamoto.  It would be quite dangerous for Satoshi to expose himself in any definitive way.  We are all Satoshi.

Bryce Weiner, via Twitter

Would you like to publicly dox yourself to squash all rumors  about your identity?

There’s no need.  I am quite active in the Bitcoin and blockchain space.  I have been from one end of the country to the other and several countries.  I have met all sorts of people from Bitcoin believers to Wall Street mavens.  Anyone who requires proof of my identity is just trying to make a stink over nothing.  I’m friends with several crypto developers in real life and in social media.

I have no need to expose myself, my friends, and my family to the rigors of some internet witch hunt. [ And] to be fair, I have done so before.  Anyone asking in regard to my identity these days just missed the boat.  I do sign messages with a PGP key, which is published on MIT.edu

Now you have been AWOL for the past few months. What have you been working on?

I have one billion dollar idea.  I tried to work with Blocktech to bring that to a reality, but we differed on several important technical and philosophical points.  It’s the only idea I’ve been working on for the last few years, but in order to preserve my market position I have been quite cryptic in regard to what I have been doing.

From my forays into altcoins, to my coffee shop, I have been researching the implications of various cryptocurrency technologies for application in this product.  We are actually about to start our formal funding round in the next 30 days. In a couple of hours I will be revealing the nature of this product, however, I’ve discussed it before.  I have been selected as the developer of choice of Industry insiders to disrupt the music industry with blockchain technology. This required an in-depth exploration of the technology in real-world settings.

eVue. A blockchain-DRM solution for the music industry

Print media is a few days behind since you are coming out with it anyway, why not divulge here?

The project is called eVue.  It is a decentralized, blockchain DRM system for use by the music industry.  What most people don’t know is that I’ve had several careers.  One of them was in FM broadcasting as a disc jockey.  My partner in the project, Todd Alexander, is to the music industry what I am to Bitcoin.  He has a gold record to his credit.  You’ve probably heard of it.  “Stanky Legg”


We combined our knowledge, contacts, and experience to develop a solution for the RIAA that serves not only existing commercial interests, but levels the playing field for independent artists. (I am working with MAJOR industry players which I will not reveal now), [but], earlier this year we attempted to partner with Jay-Z’s TIDAL, but that didn’t materialize, so we just continued working.

Wow, that sounds like a major step forward for blockchain tech. so if understand you will use the blockchain to record the rights of media being produced by artists?

That’s correct.  The identity system that I recently released is a “cradle to grave” identity suitable for tracking your music purchases for your entire lifetime.  The RIAA has a bad reputation due to PR fumbles with services such as Napster and BitTorrent.  The future of the RIAA is blockchain technology.  They want a “big tent” solution which includes everyone. We have been given the task of bringing the days of vinyl records to digital music.

In today’s world, when you switch platforms you must re-licenses your music, for instance when you move from Apple to Android.  eVue solves this problem with a cross-platform solution with a single identity for the user. When you buy a record, you don’t have to buy it again when you get a new record player. We are bringing that ethos to digital content.

As a budding developer myself I can see all kinds of potential for designers to create software. For instance, I am now thinking of a tracking type product which can predict what singles you will buy based off of past purchases.

That’s definitely a potential [idea]. However, the system I designed is considered “data mining resistant” which means only the artists and record labels will be aware of your purchases.

Very interesting.

 I assume this will be a “Tokenless Chain”? (A blockchain without a coin as its main feature)

Yes and no.  There’s a problem with Bitcoin for micropayments in enterprise-to-enterprise solutions. [Basically] it can’t be done. I’ll illustrate. A Bitcoin block is 10 minutes.  If the average length of a song is 3 minutes, that’s 4 songs per block.  Let’s use Pandora as an example. Pandora can have as many as 1,000,000 listeners at any given moment.  This means 4,000,000+ transactions per block. That’s technically impossible with Bitcoin in its current state, and no offered solutions are acceptable.

It is our intent to explore other solutions and we are actively doing so. IBM/Digital Asset Holdings’ Hyperledger is an excellent candidate. Keep in mind that’s about 7,000 transactions per second. No solution offered by Bitcoin can provide that level of throughput. Off-chain solutions are simply unacceptable given the licensing rights may last for a lifetime of a consumer.

This is very exciting news and its implications on the current Internet landscape are huge. You may have saved the music industry with this project.

Please understand that it is the music industry driving this development.  They are saving themselves. I’m just the guy they picked to get it done.

Now a few months ago you sent 1 dollar to ISIS in the form of Bitcoin.  I personally understand why you did it (and it was not to support ISIS) but for our “less idealistic” readers can you explain your reasons for this?

It was demonstrative of the power of the technology and its implementations.  Further, it served to show how several companies in the space do not take compliance seriously, putting their customers and investors at risk.  To compensate for this, such services have now opted to invade consumers’ privacy by data mining personal information about them for compliance reasons.

I gave an interview last month where I suggested this was true, and 72 hours later the evidence appeared.  This is 100% happening and those who are concerned for their privacy and personal safety should avoid such services. Social tipping, as it has come to be known, is a pump and dump vehicle to spread coins around.  That’s where it started. Bitcoin did this for years, and altcoins followed suit because it was effective.  It is not a business model.

Doesn’t this show that Bitcoin cannot be stopped by any institution?

That’s a logical fallacy.  The DPRC could nationalize Bitcoin mining farms at any moment. As the majority of mining power and coins resides in China, it can be stopped or co-opted by governments.

WOW! You gave a different answer than I expected.

Bryce Weiner: :)

Now there is a lot of negativity from other Devs / fudsters etc. directed towards you. Would you like to comment on that in any way?

Haters gonna hate?  I mean, this is an unregulated industry filled with bad information.  That bad information is used by less than reputable individuals to make money from less informed individuals.  I refuse to accept bad information and have gone to great lengths to disprove such things.  This technology holds much promise, but the promise it holds isn’t what we have been lead to believe for so many years.

2015 saw this evolve into the adoption of blockchain technology by major financial institutions because those institutions reached the same technical conclusions that I did.  I actually consulted with several of these corporations prior to their formal announcements on their adoption of non-Bitcoin blockchains. Quite frankly, I cost people money by telling the truth.  That will get you hated.

Finally, I am going to give you an open mic to say anything you want. What would you like the world to hear?

Bitcoin isn’t the end of things.  Bitcoin is just the beginning.

*DROPS MIC – A loud thud fills the room, followed by the high-pitched whine of electronic feedback. As the feedback fades into background noise his last words echo in my head..  “Bitcoin is just the beginning”.*

CCN.com thanks Bryce Weiner for the interview. The interview is slightly edited for clarity.

Featured image from Shutterstock.