ArtByte is a cryptocurrency project focused on allowing users to support their favorite painter, musician, designer, photographer, model, or writer by using ArtByte tokens. The ArtByte team argues that their cryptocurrency has been created specifically to cater to the financial needs of artists as part of the world’s non-technical community.
The Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
The ArtByte project was launched in May 2014, as part of a community effort by the ArtByte Foundation, and announced on bitcointalk.org in a post entitled “[ANN] ArtByte - the cryptocurrency for the arts!”, by forum user First.Bitcoins. The Founder and President of the ArtByte Foundation is J. Michael Cabaniss, the lead developer for the ArtByte platform is Peter Bushnell, and some other core team members include Oliver Simon and Mikko Ohtamaa, Former CTO of localbitcoins.com.
According to the ArtByte whitepaper, the project’s blockchain is completed developed and deployed, it is built on open-source code that combines features from Bitcoin, DASH, Peercoin, and Litecoin, and uses Proof of Work as its consensus system. The project has also reportedly completely deployed their server infrastructure, counting with DNS seeds, checkpoint hosted wallets, seed servers worldwide, as well as forum servers and a webpage.
The project’s currency structure specifies that 1 billion ArtByte tokens would be created in the first 10 years, with a new token creation rate of 0.5% per year after that. The project’s whitepaper announces that the ArtByte foundation pre-mined 250 million tokens to fund its activities, which could include periodic token sales if deemed appropriate.
ArtByte's Wallets and Roadmap
ArtByte’s website offers users a web-based wallet, as well as an app based variant. ArtByte core wallets are available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. Starting in March 2015, the ArtByte team started rolling out updates to their wallets, seed servers, mining pools, and forums to accommodate increasing demand. The team also released ArtByte tipping bots for Reddit and Twitter around the same time. ArtByte tokens can be purchased with Bitcoin in exchanges such as Bittrex, NovaExchange, YoBit and Cryptopia. LiteBit.eu offers Euro/ABY trading pairs.
The ArtByte project’s roadmap also included the January 2017 launch of the ArtByte Music Store, which would allow artists to sell their musical productions for ArtByte tokens, and solidifying a “Regulatory Compliance Program” with the help of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.’s attorney Marco Santori.
Difficulties Taking Off
According to the ArtByte team, a participation bonus system was launched in March 2017, in unison with the implementation of Segwit, which opened the way for the usage of atomic swaps, lightning network transaction, and smart contract capability on top of the ArtByte blockchain. It is not clear if any of these features are currently in development.
As of September 2018, the project does not seem to have taken off well. According to Bitrates' market data, ArtByte’s market cap has diminished to a little under $2.5 million, down from its all-time high of over $37.5 million in December last year. Further inspection of other ArtByte side projects like the ArtByte Music Store, reveals the store’s website seems deprecated and only features 17 non-well-known artists. Despite these apparent setbacks, the ArtByte team still maintains an online presence, and keep promoting their product on social media like Twitter and Reddit.