Upstream to Bring Digital Collectibles to the $1 Billion-Dollar [1] Global Vinyl Record Market
NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / June 15, 2022 / Upstream, the revolutionary exchange for digital securities and NFTs powered by Horizon Fintex (Horizon) and MERJ Exchange Limited, today announced that the world renowned Hip-hop music and merchandising company Ruffnation Entertainment has joined Upstream to bring blockchain-authenticity and Web 3.0 experiences to the resurging vinyl record community. Ruffnation aims to integrate digital collectibles (NFTs) into their vinyl sales strategies by creating a vinyl collectors’ storefront to bridge the physical collectors’ community with the digital collectors’ community using Upstream’s carbon neutral, user friendly exchange.
Ruffnation Records, founded in 1999 by Chris Schwartz, is the pioneering hip-hop label that discovered Cypress Hill, Nas, the Fugees, DMX, Lauryn Hill, and other major hip-hop artists. Ruffnation has sold over 189 million records worldwide generating over a billion dollars in sales and a multitude of Grammy Awards. Schwartz, CEO and Founder, is the recipient of many awards including the National Academy of Recording Arts & Science Governor’s Award. The company’s current focus is on its vinyl manufacturing, distribution and sales.
By partnering with Upstream, Ruffnation aims to bring blockchain-enforced authenticity to the vinyl record collector community. Through Ruffnation’s existing collection and their recently signed deal with independent music company MNRK Entertainment, Upstream gains access to world-class music creators who now have access to Upstream’s NFT creator tools.
Vinyl collectors can expect to experience Upstream’s unique NFT integrations including geofenced NFTs available within a certain digital boundary, promotional NFTs, and commemorative audio NFTs to collect alongside physical vinyl records. Fans on Upstream may seamlessly purchase NFTs using PayPal, debit, credit, USDC digital currency, and traditional bank payments. Upstream is 100% carbon neutral and doesn’t charge users gas fees.
“The global market for vinyl sales is showing no sign of slowing down, the trajectory will keep building momentum as more pressing plants come online,” says Ruffnation CEO and Founder Chris Schwartz. “As a leading supplier of vinyl records as well as having partnered with a State-of-the-Art vinyl pressing plant specializing in audiophile grade records, we know the importance of authentication and are thrilled to work with Upstream to introduce immutable ownership records along with a unique way for collectors to engage with their records through digital collectible NFTs.”
“NFTs are quickly becoming another facet of the collectors’ community,” says Upstream Co-founder Mark Elenowitz. “NFTs tied to collectible vinyl records act not only as a certificate of authenticity, but as an immutable record as it changes hands. We believe that adding NFTs alongside vinyl records offers a natural and welcome vertical.”
According to Schwartz, “Authenticity and Chain of Title will entice collectors to keep their transactions recorded on the blockchain as it enhances the value of the actual vinyl collectible. Blockchains are irrefutable, tamper-proof, and incorruptible. From the initial offering verified on the blockchain to the commissioned transactions every time a registered vinyl collectible is sold, the real world applications of the blockchain provide an entirely new distribution revenue channel for the artist and label outside of traditional physical and online sales.” The marketing and distribution offered by the blockchain integration are part and parcel to Ruffnation’s Vinyl Subscription and Specialty Interest Retail initiative set to launch this fall.
Ruffnation joins Upstream’s growing ecosystem which features sports, music, and entertainment heavyweights including NFL Hall of Famer Edgerrin James, NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, BRON Studios, and more. Interested parties can learn more at or reach the team at
About Ruffnation:
Ruffnation Entertainment is a Philadelphia based Manufacturing, Marketing, Sales & Distribution company selling Vinyl Records, Apparel and Merchandising. The company is an offshoot of the legendary Ruffhouse Records, a Hip-Hop label founded in the late 80’s that went on to become one of Hip-hop’s foundational record labels with artists such as Ms .Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, Cypress Hill, Nas, DMX, Kris Kross, and others. Learn more at
About Upstream:
Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market, is a regulated global stock exchange for digital securities. The exchange is powered by a carbon-neutral Ethereum layer-2 blockchain for NFTs and securities issuance with an NFT auction and securities matching engine. Users can safely trade NFTs, digital securities, fractionalized securities, IPOs, crowdfunded companies, U.S. & Int’l. equities, and celebrity ventures: Interested NFT or securities issuers can reach us at
About Horizon:
Horizon is a fintech company that builds and powers global securities exchanges with an integrated suite of software for compliant issuance, management, and secondary trading of securities. Horizon powers Upstream. Their in-house solutions combine Wall Street and Silicon Valley to power the next generation of securities offerings and trading in the U.S. and globally. Learn more at
About MERJ:
MERJ Exchange (MERJ) operates Upstream as a fully regulated and licensed integrated securities exchange, clearing system and depository for digital and non-digital securities. MERJ is an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), recognized by HM Revenue and Customs UK, a full member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) and a Qualifying Foreign Exchange for OTC Markets in the US. MERJ is also a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative.
Press Contact:
Vanessa Malone
1 Fortune
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation is not permitted.
*NFTs received have no economic value, royalties, equity ownership, or dividends. NFTs are for utility, collection, and display only.
*U.S. investors are not permitted to trade in upstream listed securities. U.S. and Canadian citizens will only be able to trade in a security they currently own that has listed on upstream for liquidation only.
Upstream is a MERJ Exchange market. MERJ Exchange is a licensed Securities Exchange, an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges and full member of ANNA. MERJ supports global issuers of traditional and digital securities through the entire asset life cycle from issuance to trading, clearing, settlement and registry. It operates a fair and transparent marketplace in line with international best practice and principles of operations of financial markets. Upstream does not endorse or recommend any public or private securities bought or sold on its app. Upstream does not offer investment advice or recommendations of any kind. All services offered by Upstream are intended for self-directed clients who make their own investment decisions without aid or assistance from Upstream. All customers are subject to the rules and regulations of their jurisdiction. By accessing the site or app, you agreed to be bound by its terms of use and privacy policy. Company and security listings on Upstream are only suitable for investors who are familiar with and willing to accept the high risk associated with speculative investments, often in early and development stage companies. There can be no assurance the valuation of any particular company’s securities is accurate or in agreement with the market or industry comparative valuations. Investors must be able to afford market volatility and afford the loss of their investment. Companies listed on Upstream are subject to significant ongoing corporate obligations including, but not limited to disclosure, filings and notification requirements, as well compliance with applicable quantitative and qualitative listing standards.
SOURCE: Horizon Globex GmbH

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