Blockchain Technology in Film Financing

Blockchain technology has changed every industry it comes into contact with.  Decentralized payments, online privacy, and the appeal of innovative tech have led to wide adoption, and over time, the use of crypto has inspired innovation in the fields in which it is used.

The same has happened to the film industry, which wasn’t among the first to accept and use crypto.  However, as soon as the benefits of finance became obvious to the public, creative industries took note and found ways to finance the films and their distribution using cryptocurrencies.


Disintermediation is a term often associated with the use of blockchain technology.  Simply put, it means the elimination of intermediaries within a transaction.  Using blockchain allows for a direct connection between the consumers and the filmmakers.  The fans can make their own donation and usually make them as small or as large as they can afford.

This helps small and inexperienced creators find an audience and funding outside of the major film studios.  Projects such as these are often more creative and tend to tackle the subjects that films with studio funding couldn’t.

Protecting Intellectual Property

Protecting intellectual property is a major problem for film production and is costly.  This is especially true in this day and age when almost every user has the knowledge needed to get access to media.  Filmmakers usually rely on third parties and government agencies to enforce the laws about intellectual property.

With the use of blockchain, there’s no need to use the services of a third party, as there’s an immutable record of each transaction.  That way, the filmmakers have proof that their IP has been stolen or used without their permission.  For small film productions, this is an incredibly important asset and a way to prevent financial losses.

Fair Royalty Payments 

In a large production team, royalty payments are handled by specialized companies or divisions.  These include production firms, distributors, and aggregators.  All of these businesses can be costly on their own, and small production companies can’t afford them.  Therefore, funds are transferred from creative endeavors to running the business.

Blockchain allows the production companies to automate this process.  The terms of each royalty contract are written into the blockchain code itself and, therefore, paid automatically once the terms of the contract are met.  That way, the complex legal matter of sharing royalties for an IP becomes a technical one.

Financing Films

Cryptocurrencies can be used to finance films in the same way they can be used to finance business endeavors.  This is done through the use of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).  ICOs are crowdfunding campaigns in which investors purchase digital tokens or coins that represent ownership in the film or a share of its revenue stream.

That way, there can be many small investors, each of them having a proportional ownership of the film once it’s produced and distributed.

The Happiest Place on Earth, a movie financed this way, is a drama film directed by Greg Yaitanes, known for his work on “House” and “Lost.” This film is being produced by Blumhouse – the company behind other hits like “Get Out” and “The Purge” series.

Which Cryptocurrencies to Use?

Almost any cryptocurrency can be used to fund movie production, and many already are.  Bitcoin is the most widely used cryptocurrency, but there are many more altcoins.  These are risen in prominence in recent years.

Recently, XRP coins, a cryptocurrency produced by the crypto exchange, have become one of the most interesting altcoins in the industry.  Ripple is built upon a distributed open-source protocol and supports tokens representing fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodities, or other units of value.

It’s a currency that aspiring filmmakers should be aware of, especially when it comes to potentially being traded on the stock market.  If they learn it ASAP, the XRP currency could become widely used in the film production industry.

Film Distribution

Film distribution is an even more tightly controlled market than film production.  The large studios, distributors, and theaters almost completely control it.  This sometimes presents a barrier that small movie production companies can’t get over.

Satoshi’s “Treasure” is an interesting example of blockchain film distribution.  It was divided into 1000 pieces on the Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX) network in 2019, with each piece representing a non-fungible token (NFT).

Owning each of the NFTs allowed those who hold it to view a portion of the film.  The owners then traded the NFTs, and therefore, parts of the movie were traded in the same way any other cryptocurrency would be traded.  Watching the film, therefore, became a communal experience shared by those who traded all the parts amongst each other.


Blockchain allows for automated micropayments.  A small amount is transferred from one user to another at a set time.  That way, the less commercial content, such as small and artistic movies, can be funded on a regular basis by small donors looking for ways to support the crew.  It also allows the investors to purchase individual pieces of content such as episodes, scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, or screenshots.

These can be bought for a fraction of the full price, which isn’t an option with traditional funding.  With traditional funding, the investors can only purchase the whole thing once it’s done.  Films take a long time to produce, and using blockchain allows investors to see the product of their investment much faster.

Dealing with Piracy

Piracy is a problem that’s been troubling film productions forever, and this goes for small companies and big studios alike.  Small companies, however, stand to lose more as financing and distribution are already challenging for them.  Blockchain can provide a technical solution to the problem.

Blockchain technology can also be used to deploy forensic watermarking technologies, which can help to track the source of pirated content.  It can also help identify those responsible for the breach and, therefore, reduce the practice as much as possible, if not stop it.

Advertising Metrics

Advertisers are usually the ones who finance film projects.  They do so in the hope that the film will provide enough traction and, therefore, pay for itself in the income it brings to advertisers.  When it comes to modern media, streaming, on-demand platforms, and alike, it becomes a bit more difficult to figure out how much of an impact a film has had on advertising.

Blockchain can be used to follow the metrics and to get a clear image of how much impact the advertising has had.  That’s because the blockchain code creates an immutable record of every transaction.  When these are put together and analyzed, they provide a good look into the viewer’s behavior.


Cryptocurrencies are widely used in many different industries, and they have been revolutionized over time.  The same has happened with film production and distribution financing, which depends on the use of crypto and blockchain.  The benefits of using crypto in this way are numerous and affect both the production companies and the viewers.

Using crypto makes it easier to finance small and independent movies and their distribution.  It bypasses the intermediaries and, therefore, makes the whole process less costly and more decentralized and democratic. 

Written by Austin Crane

Austin is the principle web director for Untamed Science and Stone Age Man. He is also the web-director of the series for the High School biology, Middle Grades Science and Elementary Science content. When Austin isn't making amazing content for the web, he's out on his mountain bike or in a canoe.

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