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Bandnamevault boss responds to Dot Blockchain criticism


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This morning, we reported on a session at the BIME conference in Bilbao where Dot Blockchain founder Benji Rogers criticised another startup using blockchain technology, Bandnamevault.

The latter launched earlier this month as a way for acts to register their names on the blockchain, but Rogers questioned the platform’s validity and viability, calling it “opportunistic” and “a land grab”.

We wanted to provide Bandnamevault with a right of reply, so we contacted the company. Co-founder Barney Wragg has now responded to the report, although he stressed that none of the company’s team were present for the BIME session itself. His full response follows:

“We have reviewed Eamonn’s write up on Musically, and would like to correct a couple of incorrect points it seems Benji made during his presentation.

Firstly, determining whether a band name is unique. This is the principal issue facing any name registration service, and it’s a particular problem for new bands. There currently is no central register of band names anywhere in the world. This means that when a band starts out, it’s difficult for them to establish if the name they want to use is in use, or has been previously used by another band.

Google is a great tool to help identify this, but sometimes the results are confusing as it’s difficult to refine any search of a name to specific use as a band name.

The first thing we did at Bandnamevault was to build a customised search tool. When you search for a band name on our site we check iTunes, Spotify, Songkick and Musicbrainz for any reference to that name. All the search results are presented and the source is identified.

Critically, unlike many other band name registration services, Bandnamevault.com will not accept a name registration unless we believe it to be unique. Our search is not infallible, but we feel that if we can not identify a digital record of a band name from any of these services, it is very likely that a new band could use that name without conflict.

The point of our service is that if you make up a new word or phrase for the name of your band, you can quickly and cheaply create an immutable record of that name and critically also record your band’s usage of the name.

To expand on this point, over 98% of searches on Bandnamevault.com are returning results showing a previous use of a band name.

We’ve been contacted by an number of new artists, who have used our service, found a record of themselves in our results, and contacted us directly requesting the purchase of a Blockchain registration. We simply turn down these requests, as obviously they already have a public record of their name and activities.

The second assertion Benji made was that we just write a name to the blockchain. That’s completely inaccurate. To help a band establish their use of the name we link as much data as the users provide us into the blockchain.

Critically we record not only their band name, but details of the band, any imagery they provide, details of other band members and most importantly a record of any gigs, events, recording or other usage of their name they choose to provide.

All of this data is tied into the blockchain.

To do this is not as simple as adding a band name to a coin transaction.

The data space available in a blockchain transaction is notoriously limited. We cannot store the volume of data we require in the available block space, so we perform a Hash on the data to create a digital signature. To further optimise the storage of these signatures in the blockchain, multiple hashes are combined in a Merkel tree, allowing a very large quantity of digital signatures to be stored in the small space available in a blockchain entry.

Our audit bundles are a downloadable record of all the data that a user has entered in the exact format we utilised to create these hash signatures. The audit bundles also contain all hash signatures we have created and the associated blockchain receipts. In this way the audit bundles allows any third party to independently recreate the hash signatures and verify that the data provided is exactly the same as that used to create the blockchain record.

We utilise the www.chainpoint.org standard protocols for the universally verifiable proofs of data, files and events.

This is how we provide digital providence of the data provided by our users.”


Written by: Stuart Dredge