For our fourth and final instalment of Profits Aside, we spoke to Julian Lai-Hung, CEO and Co-Founder of BlockPunk.

BlockPunk is an entertainment studio that provides anime content creators and fans with a platform to post their digital art work for sale using blockchain technology.

READ MORE:
Profits Aside I: Park N Parcel
Profits Aside II: Undelusional
Profits Aside III: The PS Love Company

Paving The Way For Digital Ownership

If there was one thing Julian Lai-Hung noticed was lacking in the anime market in Japan, it was that fans were not getting enough.

“In today’s ecosystem, it’s very difficult for fans to get a hold of [anime] merchandise globally,” Julian explains.

This was essentially the driving point for Julian when it came to starting his company, BlockPunk.

Capitalising on the fact that anime enthusiasts love buying merchandise to own a piece of their favourite character, Julian decided to come up with a platform that allowed both established and amateur artists to publish and sell their work to fans online.

For added security, BlockPunk decided to secure all transactions using blockchain technology to ensure that owners of the art piece know exactly who created their artwork and who previous owners of their artwork were — not unlike traditional art collectors. Ultimately, this also gives artists more autonomy over their digital rights.

Build With A Great Foundation

While Julian has more than 10 years of experience working with video streaming platforms such as Netflix, he sought for a co-founder with the technical experience that would complement his entertainment background.

With that in mind, Julian found Jatin Shah, a former pre-IPO LinkedIn product manager and data scientist through Entrepreneur First.

Together, they worked with notable industry insiders like Ryuta Shiiki of DLE and Noriyasu Ueki of Devilman for investments.

Eventually, the team expanded and it’s made Julian grateful for the fact that he’s managed to find a founding partner who could complete him.

“I focus more on the business side and Jathin is very clearly technical. He’s an expert in blockchain and he has a PhD from Yale in distributed systems and computer science so he really understands blockchain on a fundamental level,” Julian explains.

In recognising each other’s expertise, Julian says that it’s made working together a little more efficient.

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At The Of The Day, Have Fun With It

When asked about the person he admires most, Julian is quick to talk about Richard Branson.

Beyond the fact that the two are British, Julian believes that Richard embodies the same beliefs he does. “He’s got a big sense of humour and he has a punk sort of mindset and our company is called BlockPunk. We’re trying to bring a bit of that Richard Branson spirit into our business,” he shares.


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