Breaking Down BitClout, A New Form Of Crypto Social Media

Breaking Down BitClout, A New Form Of Crypto Social Media

Breaking Down BitClout, A New Form Of Crypto Social Media

The latest in crypto trends essentially puts a price tag on "I knew them before they were famous."

The latest in crypto trends essentially puts a price tag on "I knew them before they were famous."

Text: Lauren Gruber

Every day, it feels like we're one step closer to that Black Mirror episode. Since the introduction of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and online tokens like NFTs, the latest in blockchain technology has drawn interest from the likes of Jordan Belfort to Pamela Anderson.

Introducing BitClout, a cryptocurrency-based social media network. Founded by anonymous creator DiamondHands, the platform is decentralized, meaning there is no company funding it. Instead, BitClout is owned by its users, who can use BitCoin to buy and trade tokens of their favorite creators or create their own coin.

The exchange of coins or tokens allows users to essentially bet on the popularity of celebrities and influencers — profiles for the top 15,000 Twitter users are preloaded on the site for trading in a move that sparked controversy. In order to claim their premade profiles and a percentage of "creator coins" from their account, users must tweet about the platform. Profiles with a blue check mark indicate the account has been activated already. Ariana Grande's profile is currently worth $25,951.18 in creator coins

"Creator coins are a new type of asset class that is tied to the reputation of an individual, rather than to a company or commodity," said BitClout. "They are truly the first tool we have as a society to trade 'social clout' as an asset. If people understand this, then the value of someone’s coin should be correlated to that person’s standing in society"

Given that coin supply for each creator is limited — usually between 100 and 1500 coins available for each profile — BitClout has a formula in place to determine the price of a creator's coin. As more people buy a creator's coin, the coin's price rises at an increasing rate.

Bitcoin users have access to some dystopian features, like message prioritization. Instead of having to sift through thousands of DMs from fans, creators can allow only users with a certain amount of BitClout to message them, or prioritize their inbox by largest coin holders. They can also require users to pay them in coin in order to message them. Creators can also make it so that only users with a certain amount of BitClout can comment on their posts.

Questions of the website's legitimacy have been raised, as well as its implications. Putting a price tag on a creator's popularity has the power to weaponize cancel culture, as BitClout itself alludes to. Lumi, a blockchain researcher, raised concerns to CoinDesk about the platform's potential for increasing social slander. “People are incentivized to cancel people. All you have to do is open a short position and then try to mangle someone’s reputation,” said Lumi.

Other concerns have been brought up, such as how the creator coins can translate to real life profits. Currently, users can put money into BitClout but are unable to withdraw it.

Only time will tell if BitClout is a legitimate form of social currency or just another passing crypto trend.

Credits: Image courtesy of Getty Images.

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