Empire V is the first blockbuster financed by cryptocurrency

Bablos ENG
Published in
5 min readOct 2, 2018


On September 5, Kvadrat film production company held a press conference dedicated to the ICO campaign for Victor Ginzburg’s movie “Empire V”, an adaptation of the novel by Victor Pelevin. The purpose of the Bablos token ICO is not just to raise additional funds for the final stage of filming and post-production, but also to become pioneers in trying a new model of open investments in film production.

Director Victor Ginzburg, producers Ivan Zassoursky and Maria Kapralova, ICO-producer Andrey Mogin, and Peter Darakhvelidze, the director of the international system WebMoney Transfer development, took the questions from the press. You can watch the video of the meeting on “Empire V” YouTube channel (in Russian).

Everyone can become an investor at the campaign’s platform (Bablos.com). A minimum buy-in package of 10 Bablos costs 0.2 ETH, or roughly 50 euro at the current exchange rate. Bablos can be bought with BTC, ETH, WebMoney and using cash (via Russia’s local payments processing system Sberbank-Online).

Bablos total circulation is 2 million tokens, of which 1.7 million became available for the public. Soft Cap of 2,000 ETH was reached before the ICO official launch (in the pre-order book).

“Bablos [cash, dough in Russian] is the most honest and ironic name that could have been given to a cryptocurrency,” says Victor Ginzburg, the director and producer of the movie. “For us ICO is, among other things, a pre-marketing tool. We see the interest of the future audience in the movie in advance, ICO can show to distributors what people do really want to watch in cinema. Bablos ICO is a precedent for the global film industry. This is a new business model: the creation of a movie is partly paid by its future viewers, who then become interested in the commercial success of the film.”

The expected box office revenue estimates are around 1 billion rubles ($15mn).

Producer Maria Kapralova: “Against the background of the huge number of super-profitable offers among cryptocurrency projects, which may never take place or are designed for a speculative effect, we offer to the market something that is real: more than 70% of the material is already shot, we got support from The Russian Federal Film Fund, the leading film distributors showed their interest. Bablos represents a project that will be finished for sure!”

Dividend payments to Bablos holders will be processed after the release of “Empire V” in the 4Q19. These payments can make up to 40% of total film profits for three years after the initial release. After the domestic and international theatrical distribution, revenue is expected to come from distribution on digital platforms and television broadcasting.

Besides waiting for profits Bablos holders can:

— exchange Bablos with other cryptocurrencies or fiat money

— use Bablos to participate in the digital crypto-premiere and the online premiere

— save Bablos for getting involved in the next projects of “Kvadrat’ film studio that owns rights for film adaptation of Pelevin’s bestsellers S.N.U.F.F., iPhuck 10, and sequel rights to Batman Apollo, among other projects).

Producer Ivan Zassoursky: “The launch of Bablos occurred at the exact same moment, when many experts made a quick assumption that cryptocurrencies are “useless” because of the limited range of projects for investment. However, Bablos has revealed to investors and micro investors previously inaccessible film industry sector, where, until now, the decisions were made by a narrow circle of people. The holders of Bablos tokens have the power to extend film promotion by their investment and, as a result, to make a profit. Afterwards they can receive good dividends for a couple of years. Besides, these sympathetic investors will not support pirating the movie — you’d rather expect them to support the film during promotion cycle”.

ICO-producer Andrey Mogin: “Several more projects will be launched at the platform right after finishing the crowdsale of Empire V movie. We see all the possibilities for scaling up Bablos.com and entering the global film market, so that the token holders will be able to participate in the success of future films. To paraphrase Pelevin, ICO Bablos gives a chance “to become the crypto elite.”


As Bablos token happens to have both ‘utility’ status and ‘security’ function, this offering is not available in some legal jurisdictions, such as US, where it contradicts current SEC classification of tokens. Please consult regulation in your jurisdiction prior to investing in Bablos. Russian laws on cryptocurrencies are expected to reach hearings in State Duma, the Russian Parliament, in the fall, and are expected to fill the vacuum.


The movie “Generation P”, also based on Victor Pelevin’s novel, is the first project created by the team. It became the highest grossing Russian film of Spring/Summer 2011. The movie went to over 50 international film festivals, received many awards, including the Special Jury Prize at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Six years later Ginzburg, the director, started shooting “Empire V”, the evolutionary development of the previous novel and film plot. Starring: Pavel Tabakov (Rama), rapper Oxxxymiron (Mitra), Vera Alentova (Ishtar), Victor Verzhbitsky (Vaal), Vladimir Dolinsky (Enlil), Maxim Drozd (Jehovah), Igor Jijikine (Baldr), Bronislav Vinogrodsky (Loki), as well as a new star found through online casting, whose name is kept secret for now, the leading character Gera.


A young man turned into a vampire reveals the conspiracy of the elite: vampires control humanity sucking out its joy, dreams and cash. Becoming a part of the highest vampires’ caste, the character nevertheless is unable to break all connections with humans, because even in Empire V one can go crazy in love.

You can buy Bablos on the official web site of the campaign

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Bablos ENG
Editor for

ICO campaign to support the film adaptationa of the EMPIRE V novel by Victor Pelevin