Blockchain technology has revolutionized the way the world does business. Thanks to the transparent, fast, secure, auditable, and tamper-proof nature of data transfer and exchange on the decentralized ledgers that form the backbone of blockchain systems, businesses and industries of every type have benefited from this cutting-edge technology. From transportation, logistics, and secure identification protocols to fintech, healthcare, and governance, few industries, if any, have not yet launched blockchain-based initiatives of their own.
However, one standout industry that has yet to leverage the benefits of this new technology is the world of cosplay.
That is, until now.
The term “cosplay” was coined in the early 80s from the words “costume” and “play”. It involves people dressing up as characters from video games, television shows, books, or movies. Cosplayers sometimes even act in character while in costume, making their cosplay part dressing-up, part performance art.
With the global rise in popularity of movies, anime, books, and comics, combined with the quick and easy sharing of pictures and content, and the ability of people to share their cosplaying work on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and even dedicated cosplaying sites such as Cure, cosplay has grown into a truly big business, and it’s growing very quickly.
To quantify just how big the cosplaying business is, consider this: Cure alone has over 1.2 million members, and it is Japan’s largest cosplaying forum. Over 100,000 people attended London Comic-Con this year, with the number considerably higher for the Comic-Con event held in California. Tickets to these events can cost $30 or more per person, and people often spend hundreds of dollars more on materials, paint, and other services to perfect their costumes.
Overall, some estimates place the per-show earning of cosplayers as high as $5,000 to $10,000 per event. If you add YouTube revenue, endorsements, and charges for the likes of selfies and autographs at events themselves, high-end cosplayers can make as much as $200,000 annually.
There are, however, a number of serious challenges facing the cosplaying community.
Copyright and revenue-sharing issues are commonplace in the cosplaying world because corporate entities don’t want their trademarks or characters used for profit by public individuals. And because most cosplayers are private individuals, they often don’t have access to settlement accounts, and there is often no way for them to monetize their work and to prevent it from being used by others without permission. Furthermore, cosplayers can find themselves the target of harassment and personal attacks by complete strangers, both online as well as in-person. Finally, most cosplay work is not global in nature and is restricted to localized geographical niches, limiting the earnings potential of professional cosplayers.
Addressing and solving these issues is the goal of the Cosplay Token (COT), which is being launched by Cure WorldCosplay (CW). CW is a global community service supporting cosplayers from all around the world. A multi-lingual platform supporting 12 languages, the community has over 700,000 members in over 180 countries, and it boasts 6.5 million cosplaying images and counting. CW’s official social media accounts are also followed by more than 430,000 people, making it a true global leader in the cosplaying space.
With the COT token, CW will address copyright and revenue-sharing issues by ensuring that all records, transactions, and payments are securely and privately stored on the blockchain. Harassment protection, privacy, and secure payments will also be guaranteed thanks to the in-built privacy and smart-contact technology that are standard with blockchain projects of this type. In addition to these benefits, the COT token will help cosplayers reach a global audience, and it will help them maintain ownership and rights over their characters and performances, allowing them to secure higher earnings in an easier, hassle-free, and more secure manner.
To quote Mr. Junichiro, the CEO and Founder of the Cosplay Token:
“[The COT token will] quantify the cosplay industry and boost its potential market value dramatically, up to five times the size. By providing the community with an easier way to reach financial settlements while protecting their copyrights and ensuring trust and transparency, we can ensure that players are properly rewarded for their services and increase the sustainability of the cosplay industry.”
How will it do this?
COT, which is an ERC20-compatible token, will allow cosplayers, event attendees, and even the general public, to send and receive COT within the platform. They will even be able to tip players, purchase events tickets, and spend COT at player shops and other outlets. In this way, COT will help to create an integrated ecosystem that brings together not only cosplayers and event visitors but also ancillary service providers who are crucial to the cosplaying world, such as makeup artists, SFX professionals, materials providers, photographers, social media managers, and more.
The world is a global village. Big business comes with opportunities and challenges, and the world of cosplay is no exception. However, with the COT token, cosplaying is taking an important step in the right direction: a world in which cosplayers can showcase their work to a global audience and receive fair and timely payments for their efforts is that much closer, and there are interesting times ahead for the industry as a whole.