Gray Area: Creating an Ecosystem of Mutual Value Across the Entertainment Industry With Cake and Chainlink VRF

Jul 25, 2023

6 min read

The music industry has long been criticized for its inadequate value proposition to fans. These criticisms primarily focus on its opacity and lack of fairness, the industry's failure to engage supporters in meaningful decision-making processes, and the glaring absence of a direct value distribution system that rewards fans for their patronage, support, and participation.

Gray Area – a collective with a mission of building and growing a more united global house music community – has unwaveringly pursued the development and execution of this more grassroots, fan-centric approach, a cause embodied in initiatives such as their Inner-Circle membership program. Through these efforts, Gray Area has managed to build a thriving community of house music fans around the world.

As a step towards addressing some of these industry shortcomings, Gray Area is announcing its new Housekeys NFT collection, with the mint of the first 100 tokens to begin on Thursday, July 27 at 2 PM ET. By turning to Web3 technology, Gray Area seeks to deliver a mechanism that paves the way for an unprecedented level of transparency that empowers the Gray Area community to weigh in on critical decisions and unlocks the ability to reward members with IRL and digital perks of real value.

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All Keyholders will have equal opportunities to contribute their input on matters such as talent curation and project direction. Access to rewards and perks however, will be proportional to the type of Housekey they possess, which come with various rarity tiers. At launch, the collection will encompass four types of keys, presented in order of increasing rarity: Neon Keys, Triangle Keys, Silver Keys, and Golden Keys. To ensure fairness, Keyholders will not know which type of key they have until after the reveal – which will take place once all tokens have been minted. At the time of the reveal, all Housekeys will be updated with their type and corresponding unique art – no two keys will look the same.

Through their global partnerships with industry-leading producers of house music shows and festivals, and its own events and live experiences, Gray Area can offer tangible and hefty perks to its Keyholders – including, but not limited to, exclusive experiences, ticket upgrades, complimentary tickets, and other IRL benefits.

Gray Area Inner-Circle members will now be able to link their Web3 wallets to their account which will persist for them as they browse the site and access their secure Housekey portal – the hub for this new program. Gray Area is one of the first to deliver a robust web3 experience which ensures their members can take advantage of owning a NFT while avoiding the typical technical obstacles that are often present. Prioritizing user-friendly design and reducing friction have been key guiding principals in the development of the Housekeys program – allowing everyone, including those new to Web3, to become Keyholders and participate in all it has to offer with ease.

The music and live events industry has seen many failed attempts take on Web3 components on their own. Gray Area has instead opted to collaborate with industry leader Cake to deliver a technologically comprehensive smart contract solution. By leaving the technical implementation of Web3 elements to Cake, Gray Area has the ability to focus on developing a robust and tailored end-user experience via a custom Web3 integration on their site.

One critical feature of Cake’s involvement is the upgradable nature of the NFT smart contract backing the Housekeys collection. This empowers Gray Area to evolve the program over time and add additional functionality without needing to deploy new contracts – bringing everyone along for the ride and helping ensure critical transparency.

To further this aim, Cake has integrated the Chainlink Verifiable Random Function (VRF) service in the smart contract, putting fairness via true verifiable randomness at the core of everything Gray Area plans to roll out for the holders of this digital token.

Specifically, by integrating the industry-leading decentralized oracle network, Housekeys now has access to a tamper-proof and auditable source of randomness needed in the minting reveal. In a nutshell, Chainlink VRF helps ensure that the distribution of NFT rarities is provably fair — and that no holder has an advantage over the other when it comes to receiving the highest rarity tier.

Cake selected Chainlink VRF because it’s based on cutting-edge academic research, supported by a time-tested oracle network, and secured through the generation and on-chain verification of cryptographic proofs that prove the integrity of each random number supplied to smart contracts.

Chainlink VRF works by combining block data that is still unknown when the request is made with the oracle node's pre-committed private key to generate both a random number and a cryptographic proof. The Housekey smart contract will only accept the random number input if it has a valid cryptographic proof, and the cryptographic proof can only be generated if the VRF process is tamper-proof. This provides our users with automated and verifiable assurances directly on-chain that the randomness underpinning the NFT rarity distribution and reveal is provably fair and was not tampered with by the oracle, outside entities, or the Gray Area/Cake teams.

Critically, this also allows Gray Area to leverage VRF-backed random number generation in future mechanisms and functionalities of the upgradable contract.

Gray Area envisions that initial successes in achieving this ambitious mission will not only facilitate the release of additional Housekey tokens to engage more members, but also inspire other players in the music and live entertainment industry to follow suit and enhance transparency, engagement, and value distribution for their communities.

“Gray Area aims to change how communities view Web3 technology because we firmly believe it gives fans a larger voice in shaping the experiences they love to attend. Working with Cake enables us to access cutting-edge technology like Chainlink VRF, which is integral to a provably fair NFT distribution and reveal.” – Michael Julian Kovadlo, Gray Area founder.

Minting of the first 100 tokens in this limited release will begin on Thursday, July 27 at 2 PM ET. To ensure access, be sure to join the waiting list on the Housekeys page – which will also lock-in your position in line for future mints.

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