Can blockchain-based social media platforms solve the current issues faced by mainstream platforms?
It’s hard for most people to imagine their lives without the use of social media, and crypto enthusiasts are no different. Since the beginning, the crypto industry has thrived on social media platforms, as they allow people to connect and share ideas.
Furthermore, the emergence of the very idea of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain can be largely attributed to social networking platforms that facilitated the rise of activist groups such as the Cypherpunks.
Therefore, it is no surprise that there is a growing number of social networking platforms built on the blockchain for crypto enthusiasts. Emerging social media platforms such as Mamby and Honest reward their users with Bitcoin (BTC) for posting on the platform. Others such as the Bitfinex exchange are building revolutionary social trading platforms that go beyond copy trading to incorporate networking platforms for specific audiences. Apart from offering cryptocurrency as an incentive to users, others such as eToro have created a multiasset social trading platform with advanced features to the benefit of crypto traders.
So, here is a list of social media sites for crypto enthusiasts who love trading, discussing technology and ideas, or simply connecting with others.
On Monday, the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex announced the launch of the Bitfinex Pulse social network. Designed as a social trading platform with a twist, the goal of Bitfinex Pulse is to give crypto traders a leg up in the market by allowing them to collaborate and exchange ideas.
Unlike most social media platforms that focus on the interest of the general public, this platform, according to a Bitfinex representative, will focus on the niche of Bitfinex’s users and produce high-quality content for a more technically proficient audience.
Bitfinex Pulse will host insightful scoops of data that will be exchanged among the members of the platform. Although users on this platform will be able to publish and share posts, only verified participants can post publicly. In regard to how social networking platforms such as Bitfinex Pulse can maintain freedom of speech, Paolo Ardoino, the chief technology officer of Bitfinex, told Cointelegraph that:
“Freedom of speech is maintained as users are just more careful in what they write as we only allow verified users to post public pulses.”
While Ardoino identified Twitter and Reddit as the most popular social media sites for crypto enthusiasts, he also mentioned in the announcement that Bitfinex Pulse builds “on the success of the public leaderboard — which has already created crypto icons on Twitter.”
Avid Reddit users will find it pretty easy to transition to Steemit. Just like Reddit, the visibility of powers on Steemit is determined by the number of upvotes that a post receives. This blockchain-based social media platform is the brainchild of Ned Scott, a former financial analyst, and Daniel Larimer.
Steemit was launched in July 2016, and the platform’s native cryptocurrency, Steem coin (STEEM), is currently ranked among the top 100 cryptocurrencies. Unlike most incentivized blockchain-based platforms, Steemit rewards its users for commenting on posts or even upvoting other posts.
The Steem blockchain was designed in such a way that 75% of mined tokens are used to reward users on the Steemit platform while 15% go to those who hold Steem Power, the platform’s proof-of-stake token. However, after Steemit’s parent company was acquired by Tron’s Justin Sun at the start of the year, the platform has entered uncertain times.
The controversial acquisition of Steemit by Justin Sun triggered the Steemit community to create Hive, which, at its core, is a hard fork of Steemit’s blockchain.
This social media platform was born after a month-long power struggle with Sun in February. The controversy surrounding the platform aside, Hive is set to feature small alternations of the Steemit code to allow room for improvement in the future.
Most importantly, however, is that Hive runs on a completely independent platform and seeks to develop a decentralized social networking hub built by a community of users.
Mamby is a social network powered by artificial intelligence that represents the new age of social networks intending to eradicate inaccurate news. With the ubiquitous spread of false information on most social media platforms, Mamby rewards users who post high-quality content. Thanks to AI, consumers are only shown content they are interested in.
On top of the fact that the platform does not come with a token sale, as is common with most crypto-centric social network platforms, Mamby rewards its content producers with Bitcoin, which is more appealing to a larger audience of crypto enthusiasts.
Therefore, a user can get as much as 0.1 Bitcoin for the views generated by a piece of content. The platform also allows users to post videos, images and text-based messages. Despite its relatively small audience, at its core this social media platform is redefining the idea of earning Bitcoin.
EToro boasts to be the pioneer of social trading websites, with a focus on copy trading. The platform was founded in 2007, and it grew rapidly thanks to its offer of stocks, foreign exchanges, commodities, and contract for difference trading. Even though other brokerages have since incorporated copy trading, where novice traders can copy the strategies of an expert trader, eToro stands out because it adds a social media element to the mix.
Add this to the fact that its trading platform supports several top cryptocurrencies — including Bitcoin, Ether (ETH) and XRP — and crypto enthusiasts get access to a social networking platform. For crypto enthusiasts who would like to learn from expert traders while dabbling in the stocks and forex markets without sacrificing their appetite for cryptocurrencies, this platform offers a way.
Another newly launched social media platform for crypto enthusiasts that claims to improve on the Steemit idea is Narrative. This social media platform was only launched in April 2019, yet it has become a go-to platform for crypto bloggers looking for a more centralized alternative.
While decentralized platforms such as Steemit might be praised for their advocacy of freedom of speech, Narrative’s creators seem to buck this trend with a centralized platform that is designed to be censorship-resistant.
On Narrative, communities are grouped into particular niches, or tags, that users create. Those who own the most active tags are rewarded by receiving the right to elect moderators. To settle disputes, the platform features a central tribunal that makes decisions and moderates discussions.
Tradelize is a decentralized social network built for the trader. The platform was created by traders with decades of experience. This one of a kind social network features advanced tools that use statistics from several crypto exchanges. Just like regular social media websites, a user on Tradelize can create a profile and use the platform to enjoy other social features.
As a form of social proof, users can demonstrate the profitability of their successful tactics as well as view the history of other traders. The platform supports a multi-exchange terminal that receives data from eight crypto exchanges, providing access to a majority of cryptocurrencies. Tradelize is mostly attractive to users who are looking to interact with professional traders.
ZuluTrade is another social trading platform that competes with the likes of eToro. The platform was founded in 2007, and it allows users to connect with multiple signal providers, copy their trading strategies and read their analyses in a risk-free environment.
With its integration of more than 50 brokers around the world, users get access to plenty of signal providers. However, as much as the platform is geared for professional trading, most of its users appear to be amateur traders and there are only a limited number of cryptocurrencies supported.
Appics is a blockchain-based social media application that rewards its users for the time spent on the site with the APX token. This application comes with an approach that turns the traditional social media business model on its head. The APX token rewards both brands and individual influencers for their contributions to the platform.
Although the platform is still in its beta stage, it holds promise as earnings are not just provided for content creators but also for other stakeholders on the platform.
So far, the social media platform has amassed an extensive network of influencers and celebrities in more than 20 countries. Users with the most APX tokens in their wallets are also given a right to vote and have influence over the assigned amount of rewards.
Another platform that allows content monetization is Honest. Built on top of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, this social media platform is more like the blockchain version of Medium. It was launched in November 2018 with the goal of rewarding creatives and freethinkers for their written content; however, the site also allows for videos and photos. Honest is a great place for engaging in discussions about cryptocurrencies, art, the economy and different technologies.
Although it’s powered by the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, content creators on the site are paid with Bitcoin for the number of upvotes a piece of content receives. While the Honest platform is still in its nascent stage, the website has a steadily growing community of members backed by an active core team of creators and developers.
Built on the Steem blockchain, DTube is the decentralized equivalent of YouTube. The platform uses an InterPlanetary File System, which is a distributed peer-to-peer network for storing and sharing data. According to the DTube website, the combination of the decentralized nature of IPFS with that of the Steem blockchain makes DTube censorship-resistant.
Essentially, the power to censor or promote any videos is in the hands of the users through upvotes and downvotes. This social media platform has a keen focus on visual content and allows users to upload, comment, share and watch videos while earning cryptocurrencies.
The move toward uncensored social media
Despite the frustrations that emerge from centralized social media platforms, there is no shortage of decentralized and incentivized blockchain-based social media platforms. For crypto traders and enthusiasts alike, there are plenty of websites to socialize and exchange ideas with other like-minded individuals. However, as Ardoino puts it:
“A balance between privacy and freedom of speech is really one of the most complex issues to solve, not really from a technical point of view but from a social and human point of view.”
As blockchain technology grows, and as social media increasingly becomes part of our daily lives, innovation will follow suit, leading to the emergence of value-based social media platforms, not to mention the mass adoption of crypto. But for now, the move toward uncensored social networks has begun, and the crypto community is charging ahead of the pack.