Television company

Bitcoin pioneer Jeff Garzik launches Web3 production company

Jeff Garzik, a key developer of the Linux operating system and the Bitcoin Core project, announced the launch of NextCypher Productions on Tuesday. The indie entertainment company aims to use Web3 tools to produce indie sci-fi entertainment.

“I was the third most prolific developer on the original Bitcoin blockchain in 2010,” Garzik said. Decrypt in an interview. “So I worked directly with Satoshi [Nakamoto] and his number two, Gavin [Andresen]- this was my entry into the crypto industry.

Garzik is also known for co-founding Bloq, Spacechain, and Vesper Finance.

Garzik says NextCypher allows him to return to his passion for science fiction, which he says led him to crypto in the first place.

Garzik says the roots of Web3 can be found in the pages of cyberpunk novels. The genre includes landmark titles like neuromancer by William Gibson, Snowfall by Neal Stephenson and role-playing games like “Shadowrun” and “Cyberpunk”.

But unlike Stephenson, who in June announced the launch of his “metaverse” project Lamina1 alongside fellow Bitcoin pioneer Peter Vessenes, Garzik’s vision lies in film and television.

While a background primarily in software engineering and cryptocurrency doesn’t exactly lend itself to a career in Hollywood, Garzik says he’s sought out the likes of Mark Altman and Thomas Vitale, people who are already experienced in the type of production. that he envisions.

“We hired a producer-showrunner combination who is very experienced not only in film and television in general, but who knows how to create something on a budget and on a schedule,” said Garzik.

To get the project off the ground, Garzik tells Decrypt that he invested $1 million of his own money to fund NextCypher, intending to launch the first television projects, lands of the dead (based on the novel by Jack Adrian, produced by Altman and Vitale) and Mirrorbased on an original concept by Garzik, in 2023.

Looking Glass, the story of a young woman who loses her memory and falls in with a group of “grid runners” and goes on a quest to find out her true identity has made its premiere as a graphic novel by NextCypher subsidiary Next Cypher Words + Art, at San Diego Comic-Con last month.

The character of “the runner” is a familiar cyberpunk archetype, from the Edgerunners of Cyberpunk 2077 to the eponymous Shadowrunners of Shadowrun.

Along with Garzik’s NextCypher, other sci-fi/cyberpunk-themed productions in Web3 are currently in development. In May, the co-creators of the Web3 multimedia sci-fi project “Runner” Bryan Unkeless, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Bryce Anderson and Blaise Hemingway discussed their project with Decrypt.

“While our central story focuses on a few characters, it was a natural extension to look at PFPs as a way to really start creating specific identities in our world,” Unkeless said at the time.

Like Unkeless’ project, Garzik seeks to take advantage of Web3 technologies such as non-fungible tokens or NFTs. These unique tokens are tied to digital (sometimes physical) content, providing proof of ownership.

Alongside NFTs, the project aims to use social media to connect with a global audience, giving supporters and fans access to exclusive markets and opportunities such as previews and exclusive experiences, including engaging with stars and the creative team and accessing the creative process.

“It’s called an alpha pass,” Garzik says. “You don’t have to pay anything. You show up in the time window and claim one.”

As Garzik explains, NFTs will be a gateway to the NextCypher Hollywood-plus experience.

“We tried to think of all the interesting, amazing and engaging ways that fans would like to be included in the process, from literally the idea stage, through post-production and streaming on Amazon or Netflix. “

Using NFTs to interact with fans and create buzz is nothing new. Earlier this year, acclaimed indie director Quentin Tarantino launched a line of NFTs based on his iconic film pulp Fiction, despite a lawsuit from Miramax Films, which owns the film’s intellectual property rights. In May, legendary filmmaker Spike Lee announced the launch of an Ethereum NFT series based on his appearance as Mars Blackmon in “She’s Gotta Have It” to help fund young filmmakers and let NFT holders vote on the projects carried out.

“We are still pursuing funding for traditional production,” says Garzik. “NFT’s revenue goes toward developing new projects, community events, and other additive fan experiences.”

Garzik says the team is still working on the blockchain on which the NFTs will be minted, but noted that the idea is to avoid the high fees currently associated with Ethereum.

“We are currently looking for the best home for this,” says Garzik. “So the default answer is an Ethereum-connected sidechain, like Polygon or Avalanche. We’re still negotiating between projects to see where we’re going to land.”

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