Dev Grant Spotlight - Numbers Protocol Puts Digital Creators in Control of Their Assets

Apr 21, 2023

The creator economy is valued at more than $100 billion. But according to a 2022 survey from Tipalti, 90% of creators expressed issues with just getting paid, and 40% said content monetization was their greatest challenge.

Fair and timely compensation for content has become increasingly difficult for content creators, particularly as the market becomes more saturated. Decentralized technologies help artists monetize their work and connect with fans in new ways.

Numbers Protocol is focused on putting the power back in the hands of creators to address the issue of provenance across the digital media landscape. Founded in 2019, Numbers is a blockchain-based interoperate, cross-network, and transparent trust layer that addresses problems like misinformation, content manipulation, and intellectual property (IP) governance. It creates an immutable record of attribution and ownership of public and private assets, such as images, videos, and NFTs, to verify the authenticity and value of digital collections.

The Numbers Protocol team originally discovered Filecoin through work with their key partner, Starling Lab. Numbers Protocol has also been able to further strengthen and build upon their commitment to develop groundbreaking digital media solutions through their membership in the Protocol Labs Accelerator Program.

Building A Movement

Numbers Protocol is revolutionizing digital media by creating a more ethical and sustainable ecosystem. While trust, transparency, and monetization have long been thorns in the side of content creators, the advent and increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) in everyday life has only exacerbated these issues. With more content creators increasingly using AI tools for artistic creation, the Numbers Protocol team is reflecting on matters of authorship and attribution, and exploring methods to conserve and protect these works. The issue of provenance is also present in centralized Web2 systems, where there is a pervasive lack of transparency. Numbers Protocol can be integrated with existing Web2 social media platforms and media organizations to empower visibility into who is leveraging, owning, and sharing content.

Beyond Web2 integrations, Numbers Protocol can also enable new platforms and applications in the Web3 digital media landscape that prioritize the compensation of content creators and those who want to build AI-powered models. For example, Numbers Protocol can facilitate alternative social media that incentivizes and rewards creators for sharing their work, to ensure that platforms deliver revenue directly to creators based on the usage of their work. This technology disrupts legacy intellectual property enforcement with a decentralized, transparent method of tracking ownership and use of digital media assets, reducing the need for intermediaries and third-party platforms.

Why Decentralization and Filecoin?

Web3 and decentralization revolutionize how data is stored, shared, accessed, and monetized online. It creates an open, transparent, and secure internet that is user-centric and less reliant on the legacy centralized intermediaries currently dominating the data storage market. Decentralization enables Numbers Protocol to offer users security, privacy, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. Decentralization creates a community-driven network where users have control and ownership over their data. It also provides the potential for modern business models and revenue streams, such as creating and monetizing NFTs, which helps build a sustainable, profitable long-term business.

Both Numbers Protocol and the Filecoin network, are built with a similar ethos of security, ownership, and transparency. Numbers Protocol can store digital media on a distributed storage network, avoiding the pitfalls of centralization like censorship and data breaches. Filecoin's content-addressable platform ensures that each file is uniquely identified by its content, making verifying the authenticity and ownership of assets easier. With support from IPFS and Filecoin, every asset on Numbers Mainnet can be assigned a unique Numbers ID (NID), a 59-character non-interchangeable and cryptographically generated identifier that distinguishes the vast ecosystem of digital assets within the network.

Since integrating the Filecoin network, Numbers Protocol has realized several successes. Users of the Capture App — Numbers Protocol's blockchain-based camera application — are now able to store photos securely in the Filecoin ecosystem. Numbers Protocol has also seen its user base expand, enabling them to differentiate themselves from competitors by offering a decentralized content creation and storage alternative. At the same time, users have been able to save on storage costs and create more efficiently with the combination of Numbers Protocol's user-friendly interface and Filecoin's easy-to-use APIs and developer tools.

What's Next?

The Numbers Mainnet launched in November 2022, lowering the cost of registration and enabling seamless service to customers and partners. Recognizing the significance of the rise of AI and the need for continued transparency in the digital creator ecosystem, Numbers Protocol is pursuing partnerships with AI companies and artists. The team recently launched the All Human-Made Mosaic Art Campaign, which aims to inspire a diverse audience to participate in the co-creation process while celebrating humans' unique creativity and authenticity. The overarching goal is establishing Numbers Protocol as the go-to resource for creators and content platforms looking to tap into Web3 technology.

In February 2023, Numbers Protocol integrated Numbers Blockchain into the Capture App, enabling digital assets to be migrated to the Numbers Mainnet and set as the NFT minting chain for the Capture App. Moving forward, the focus will be continued integration of other applications onto Mainnet, including the API, Numbers Search Engine, and SDKs. Numbers Protocol will continue to build on these successes by further integrating with Filecoin and IPFS, improving the platform's features and user experience, and expanding to new markets.

The Filecoin Foundation Dev Grants program helps advance projects and aims to award additional grants to boost development in the Filecoin ecosystem. Check out our other grant recipients and learn how you can apply for Open Grants and Microgrants.