If you’re working in music and you’re struggling to understand blockchain technology and its myriad applications, you’re not alone. But there’s help at hand.

A new not-for-profit trade body, the Australasian Blockchain Music Association, was formally established in December 2017 with a mission to spread the word and clear up some misunderstanding (and, yes, there’s a lot of it). In February of this year, the association appointed its first director, Rico Soto, to guide its activities.

Blockchain technology has benefited from a decade of investment and some high-profile exponents, including Bjork and Imogen Heap. Outside of workshops at music conversations and some excitement in the press, there remains a lot of head scratching about how these new technologies can serve the industry. It’s a mystery to many and a bore to some.  “I’m here to bridge the gap between the tech-heads and the musicians,” explains Soto, a veteran music industry executive who founded Fire Entertainment and other entertainment-based businesses and has experience shaping projects across Australia and South America.

Rico Soto, Director at ABMA

At its heart, the ABMA pledges to provide a forum for musicians and professionals across all creative industries, government bodies, peak associations and other relevant groups “from across the region to discuss, debate and further the adoption of blockchain technology within the industry for the benefit of all.”Soto, who is based in Sydney, brings to this new role a big bag of skills from across the creative and talent industries and, of course, tech. TIO chatted with Soto as he beat the ABMA drum on a trip to Europe.