When was the last time you stopped by a busy street, square, store, mall, your local subway to witness the art of your local street performer? Lack of opportunities worldwide especially for performing artists increased the number of buskers aka street performers in the world. Especially, in the west. Like the rest of us, they have also evolved with the shower of technology bestowed upon the world.
As compared to the old, days, buskers or street performers are inclining towards digitalization by accepting digital tokens of appreciation rather than loose change. A recent report by the RMIT University’s economists has found this in their research. The team from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, found in some areas, street performers receive donations in Bitcoin, Paypal, or others by the passing by people. Rather than the traditional method of putting change in their instrument case or container.
The data gathered from the busking project and the Economists team from the RMIT show that digital payment methods are becoming a standard for street performers. As per stats from the study, the researchers carefully studied the payments coming from 3500 street performers from 121 countries. For quite some time, buskers have been receiving payments through crypto. They have been utilizing different methods. A multitude of online forum posts and stories reflect that bitcoin enthusiasts have been busking for bitcoin for the past 10 years or so.
That might be pretty surprising for a lot of you. But in many countries, this trend is becoming a norm. On the other side, still in many countries like some South Asian countries like Pakistan, Art itself, specifically music; is on the verge of extinction. Let alone buskers in the street and one expecting them to receive donations in crypto. The biggest reason is the public mindset shifting from arts and culture towards extreme sides, the disappearance of law and order, and many other factors. However, recently we have seen a small wave of a small group of people in support of Crypto awareness led by Waqar Zaka. He is a former television VJ, music show host, who is now is now running the Crypto awareness movement in Pakistan.
Back in Apr 2018 ABC.net from Australia interviewed a street performer named Josh Thompson, who was accepting Bitcoin in donations. Thompson then said that people passing by in Australia showed hesitation to make electronic payments to street performers. But this wasn’t the same case everywhere. Because other regions were more responsive to pay digitally rather than change. He said, “In the UK and EU, people are paying buskers with apps and Paypal and digital currency like bitcoin.”
The recent study arranged by RMIT University was led by Dr.Meg Elkins. Elkins is an Economist and a senior lecturer in the School of Economics finance and marketing at RMIT. She said that the findings of the report advise that street artists have more of an entrepreneur mindset and approach these days.