Before books could be published on the internet as an elaborate series of zeroes and ones, almighty paper ruled the publishing world. It wasn’t until 1971, the year that Project Gutenberg was founded, that the digital and written worlds finally collided. Since that time, we have been trying very hard to distinguish the two: books versus ebooks. But why are we trying to distinguish them by referring to digital books as ebooks? A digital movie isn’t an “emovie” and digital music isn’t “emusic.” It doesn’t make much sense to do so. A book is a book whatever the format, just like a movie is a movie and a song is a song.
I think we are trying to distinguish the two formats partly because we are purists and we like to think paper books are nobler. Also, because the industry is fighting very hard to keep the paper format alive. And finally, because the process to publish, distribute, sell, and read a digital book is not perfect, far from it.
I am not being a pessimist here; I love to read books in their digital format. I am sure that they will continue to evolve and that we will see an increase in their use in the future even if the adoption rate has been flat for the last couple of years.
Being a tech guy, it was only natural for me to jump onto the bandwagon to try to save the day for the so-called ebook. Looking for what could be the best options, I quickly came to realize that blockchain technology had great potential for the book industry. After four years of studying, prototyping, and developing solutions with blockchain, I have become a firm believer that blockchain is perfectly suited for the book industry. I am also convinced that it will help the book industry to evolve, and not by creating yet another type of ebook.
This is the main reason I founded Scenarex, an organization that aims to provide publishers and content creators with innovative and effective tools based on blockchain that allow them to manage their digital files and protect their content against piracy and theft, and all without compromising their accessibility or impeding their impact on the public. Our flag product, Bookchain®, is the first worldwide online platform to publish, sell, and read ebooks using blockchain technology and allowing for local currency for purchases and rights holders’ royalty distribution.
A blockchain is a digital ledger that keeps track of exchanges that involve information, much like contracts. Everything else you need to know about blockchain is in its name: little packets of information are stored as individual blocks that make up a larger chain, like an ever-expanding data necklace. A hash, or unique digital fingerprint, is assigned to each block to identify it within the chain.
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