Audius launched their own cryptocurrency $AUDIO: Here's what you can do with it


It's just slightly over a year since I wrote SoundCloud alternatives - where to go with your music if SoundCloud dies one day, a blog post examining a few services that could eventually serve as a replacement for dying SoundCloud. One of them was Audius, a very young platform that just got launched a short while before I wrote that post. Despite its flaws, it looked promising, and I kept seeing mentions about it here and there on my social media throughout the next year, but to be honest, nothing too hot.

In the past days though', Audius took the music scene by storm with what I've called "the most beautiful surprise that artists could get". First, they finally announced their very own cryptocurrency called $AUDIO (I see a little change here from the old name "Loud"), and then they airdropped whopping 50 millions of $AUDIO tokens to their 10 000 of first / most active users (I'm not entirely sure what was the precise criteria for being chosen). 

I got that email too and at first, I didn't pay much attention to it, but then Twitter got all hot and $AUDIO mentions started popping up everywhere, revealing that those amounts the artists were given could actually cash out even thousands of dollars. I struggled to believe it, as it simply looked too good - just imagine it, a few thousand dollars just falling into your lap straight from the sky - that's exactly how it felt. But no matter how surreal it all was - it was real. 

The funny thing about all this is that not so many of us artists are experienced with cryptocurrency trades (me included), so naturally, a lot of people who got lucky started to look for answers to a lot of questions (me included). And as I dove into learning some "basic cryptocurrency trading 101", I thought it might help a few more of us if I don't keep that bits of wisdom for myself.

Disclaimer: I'm writing this as I'm just learning myself how all these things work, so if any experienced crypto guy happens to read this and spots any inaccuracy in the text, please, feel free to send me a message or leave a comment under the post and I'll be more than happy to fix it as soon as I can. Also, I am not a financial advisor, and this post isn't meant as financial advice.

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What exactly is $AUDIO and what can you do with it now

$AUDIO is a cryptocurrency token, that's also meant as an Audius platform-specific "currency". So what can you do with $AUDIO, if you got some?

1) You can keep your $AUDIO (if you have some) in your Audius account to use them there in the future. So far, it appears that those coins should give people the ability to propose & vote on new features or upgrades to Audius and also to decide where to invest grants for community projects that improve Audius. Also, I can imagine those will be used for unlocking some extra content or functions, as the platform authors themselves mentioned "many possibilities that haven't been imagined yet", but so far there is practically no more info about it now. Anyway, Audius' whitepaper suggests that at least some of those things bound to coin usage could go live by the end of 2020.

2) Or, instead of keeping it, you can just transfer your $AUDIO into your crypto wallet, trade them for some other cryptocurrencies or eventually even cash them out in hard cash. If you have 'em, those tokens are yours now and you can do whatever you want with it - and a little extra cash will sure help in these difficult pandemic times. 

Just a little note - same as you can sell your $AUDIO on a crypto exchange, you can as well buy it there, and eventually even send it "back" to your Audius account, if you need to use it on the platform.

How do you get to see how much is $AUDIO worth in real money

As you would probably expect, the dollar worth of $AUDIO fluctuates rapidly as a reaction to the ever-changing cryptocurrency market. So because of that, I cannot really give you some amount, as it's gonna be different anytime you happen to wonder. But it's actually really easy to check out the current rate - just head over to Coinmarketcap (or any other similar website) and look for $AUDIO. This link will bring you straight to the $AUDIO's currency detail, where you can see how much is 1 $AUDIO worth in the currency of your liking. (Eg. when I was writing this article, the price was $0.172618 USD. Not much for one unit, but when you have a few thousands of them, numbers start to add up quickly.)

What do you need to make use of $AUDIO?

As I suppose that this article will be mostly sought by people who are just starting with cryptocurrencies, I thought it would be nice to break down at least the absolutely bare minimum of knowledge/prerequisites you need in order to make some use of your coins.

First, you need a crypto wallet. Simply (and inaccurately said), a crypto wallet is software or a piece of hardware to store your coins in. The reality is slightly different tho - paradoxically, no coins are really stored inside that software/hardware itself, as all your coins are all in fact stored in the blockchain itself - those wallets are just designed to work with that blockchain so you can get to your funds. For most of us beginners, a software wallet in form of a mobile or desktop app will be probably most convenient, as a lot of those is free. I personally use Trust Wallet, but it's up to your research and preference which one you will choose for yourself. Just make sure that your wallet supports $AUDIO tokens, as an invalid transaction would result in you losing your funds.

Once you have your crypto wallet, you can straight away transfer $AUDIO from your Audius dashboard by clicking SEND and then choosing the amount and filling in the deposit address of your wallet. But maybe wait for a little, at least till I explain the rest.

Having a wallet is a good start, but by default, it's only storage for your coins. Despite some wallets already support swapping coins, usually, if you want to sell your $AUDIO (or buy some tokens), you need to go to so-called "crypto exchanges". Those are big online cryptocurrency marketplaces where most of the crypto trades take place. Those currently supporting $AUDIO are Binance, UNISWAP, and FTX

Now, when you open an account on one of the places, it comes automatically with its own online wallet, where you need to send your crypto tokens in order to trade them for something else. So if you want to straight-up cash out on your $AUDIO tokens, it will be probably smarter move to send them from Audius straight to your crypto exchange wallet instead of putting them into your own crypto wallet first (as most of those transactions cost you some small fee anyway). If you're not about to trade tho', it's advised to send your coins into your own wallet, as with those online platforms there's always a risk of a cyberattack.

Now, these are the very basics, but I strongly suggest reading this looong-ass guide that explains almost every aspect of buying cryptocurrencies or trading them one for another.

How can you trade $AUDIO for cash

Well, you can't. "WAIT, WHAT?", you just asked yourself, but don't you worry. You can't do it DIRECTLY right now as far as I'm concerned, but you can actually use your $AUDIO to buy some other cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ethereum, and then sell those for money. There's that one extra step, but it's no rocket science, really. 

I have not cashed out on my $AUDIO coins myself tho', so instead of making my own tutorial that couldn't really be backed up by real experience (and also because there are slightly different ways to do it for the US and the rest of the world, as often), I'll just link you the existing tutorials you can follow in order to get your sweet cash.

Tutorial for non-US residents:

Tutorial for US residents:

Should you rather cash out on your $AUDIO or keep it?

Well, as I said, I'm still very new to cryptocurrency trade myself, so I won't be trying to give you any advice here. But what I personally decided to do with my coins was to hold them for now, as their price went already down before I even knew I have it (probably due to a lot of artists selling their $AUDIO right after the airdrop). So I'll probably keep them for some time, checking the valuation and hoping for the best.

Update 29/10: As the token shows a constant decline in its price, I've decided to sell them for some other, more stable cryptocurrency.. 

How can you get more $AUDIO tokens?

One way I already mentioned before, and that's buying them on the cryptocurrency exchange platform. But I guess you're will be probably more likely interested in how to earn them on the Audius platform itself. To this, however, I cannot provide a clear answer, as even the Audius team didn't really specify that themselves. In the Audius dashboard, there stands "You earn $AUDIO by using Audius. The more you use Audius, the more $AUDIO you earn." But as far as I know, that's almost the only available info we can get on it right now, besides that the latest recap article on Audius' Medium blog mentions that the reward algorithm is yet to be discussed and implemented.

What that basically means is that right now, you're probably not earning anything yet with your activity, BUT it could be somehow as well take into account later, as it was in the case of the initial airdrop. So the key takeaway is: Don't expect $AUDIO tokens to start racking up in your Audius dashboard straight away, just because you saw that some people got paid and now you're uploading stuff, liking, reposting, and streaming like mad, hoping for a slice of the pie. The way how the tokens will be distributed to people based on their usage of Audius is apparently yet to be determined and implemented, and all the crypto coins people got now were just a part of that airdrop.

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Welcome! My name is Pao and I'm the person behind this whole website. Besides making music myself whenever I can, I also write this blog and curate Spotify playlists. Feel free to explore it here a bit - I believe you will find some interesting stuff around ^^