BlockPunk announced that its anime crypto site CryptoAnime will rebrand as BlockStudios to reflect its long-term vision as a blockchain entertainment studio for creators and fans.With the rebrand, BlockStudios has also signed exclusive original content deals from top Japanese filmmakers Kazuto Nakazawa and Takashi Shimizu known for their work on Kill Bill: Volume 1 and The Grudge respectively. BlockPunk, based in Singapore, set out to build the world’s first decentralized marketplace for branded anime content and the team has experience in licensing, financing, and producing hundreds of Hollywood and anime titles at companies like Netflix and Warner Bros. Julian Lai-Hung, CEO and co-founder of BlockPunk, former head of anime at Netflix, speaking on the rebranding and the new original content deals, said “BlockPunk’s creation of an ecosystem based on blockchain technology comes at a crucial time where a small number of centralized Silicon Valley platforms are taking over Hollywood. The fixed fee deals with no upside, lack of viewing data, and limited merchandising opportunities mean independent creators need more options to grow their business. With BlockStudios, creators are empowered to fund, merchandise and stream their content directly to fans – a drastic alternative to the streaming oligarchs.” Julian added, “We are absolutely thrilled that renowned Japanese filmmakers Kazuto Nakazawa and Takashi Shimizu, are leading the way with the first ever original content deals for anime on the blockchain by partnering with BlockStudios. These are clear signs for the demand for an alternative and decentralised solution for content.” Takashi Shimizu said, “I love drawing. Ever since I was a child I would draw and imagine characters floating in my mind. It’s my dream to bring this to life as an animated movie, a picture book and more! If you could fall in love with some of my characters that would make me very happy. I’m fascinated by Blockchain and how it can bring this to a new audience around the world.” BlockPunk launched BlockStudios (formerly CryptoAnime) in April 2018 and subsequently, in May, formed a strategic partnership with, and received investment from DLE Capital, the VC arm of Tokyo Stock Exchange listed entertainment studio DLE to support its efforts in Japan.