Bitcoin pioneer Jeff Garzik launches the Web3 production company

Jeff Garzik, one of the leading developers of the Linux operating system and the Bitcoin Core project, announced the launch of NextCypher Productions on Tuesday. The independent entertainment company aims to use Web3 tools to produce independent science fiction entertainment.

“I was the third most prolific developer on the original Bitcoin blockchain in 2010,” says Garzik Decrypt in an interview. “So I was working directly with Satoshi [Nakamoto] and his number two, Gavin [Andresen]—This was my entry into the cryptocurrency 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 believes led him to cryptocurrencies in the first place.

Garzik states that Web3’s roots can be found in the pages of cyberpunk novels. The genre includes seminal titles such as Neuromancer by William Gibson, Snow crash by Neal Stephenson and RPGs like “Shadowrun” and “Cyberpunk”.

But unlike Stephenson, who in June announced the launch of his “metaverse” project Lamina1 along with another Bitcoin pioneer, Peter Vessenes, Garzik’s vision is 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 been looking for people like Mark Altman and Thomas Vitale, people already well versed in the kind of production he envisions.

“We’ve hired a producer-showrunner combo who is very knowledgeable not only in film and TV in general, but knows how to create something on a budget and a schedule,” says Garzik.

To get the project off the ground, Garzik says Decrypt which has invested $ 1 million of its own money to finance NextCypher, with the intention of launching the first television projects, Lands of Death (based on the novel by Jack Adrian, produced by Altman and Vitale) e Mirrorbased on an original concept by Garzik, in 2023.

Looking Glass, the story of a young woman who loses her memory and runs into a group of “grid runners” and goes in search of her true identity, was premiered as a graphic novel by NextCypher subsidiary, Next Cypher Words + Art, at San Diego Comic-Con last month.

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

Along with Garzik’s NextCypher, other science fiction / cyberpunk themed productions are currently in development in Web3. In May, 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 core story focuses on a few characters, it was a natural extension to look at PFPs as a way to really start creating specific identities within our world,” Unkeless said at the time.

Like Unkeless’s project, Garzik is looking to leverage Web3 technologies such as non-fungible tokens or NFTs. These unique tokens are linked to digital (sometimes physical) content, providing proof of ownership.

Together with NFTs, the project aims to use social media to connect with global audiences, giving supporters and fans access to exclusive markets and opportunities such as exclusive previews and experiences, including engagement with the stars and creative team and the access to the creative process.

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

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

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

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

“We continue to pursue traditional production financing,” says Garzik. “NFT revenue goes to the development of new projects, community events and other additive fan experiences.”

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

“We are currently looking for the best home for it,” says Garzik. “So the default answer is a side chain connected to Ethereum, like Polygon or Avalanche. We are still negotiating between projects to see where we will land.”

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