Editorial 31 May 2018Reina Nakamoto
Emerging Trends: Social media on-chain on Bitcoin Cash, the new killer app for global adoption
Old Social Media is broken. Long live Bitcoin Cash, Memo and Blockpress!
There is an oft-heard phrase that everyone who’s anyone, is on social media. Your grandma is on social media. Your child is on social media. It has become a social norm: One is seen as a social Yeti if one ever declares to not participate in any form of social media at all.
But knowing how integral this is to our modern lives, what happens when a member of society is cut out from their desired social media platform?
What happens when Twitter, in its crusade to hunt down scammers and spammers, decides that you, a relatively new, human user, is rather ‘suspicious’? Twitter’s automagical, concealed-algorithm then condemns you to the realm of the “shadowbanned”: a dark and lonely pit, where all but a few can hear your thoughts.
This is not at all a hypothetical situation.
This is the current reality of 2018.
With the advent of “cryptoscammers” on Twitter, it appears Twitter has been overcompensating on the restrictiveness and random punishment it deals upon relatively new accounts, as one theory. On the flipside, some users have reported that reporting actual scammers to Twitter has sometimes resulted in total inaction from the Twitter support. Frustrated users within the platform lament that Twitter has been shadowbanning many users, deleting their followings, or even locking out their accounts. New Twitter users are increasingly finding themselves in these unexplained and disappointing scenarios, especially in the cryptocurrency realm of Twitter.
When your social media declares you an outcast, what is one to do?
Disillusioned users are seeking alternatives. The Iron Throne of Social Media is ripe for the taking.
New companies are innovating: Yours.org has been a popular publishing platform for the Bitcoin Cash community since its launch, as has Memo, a minimalistic short message social platform. I wanted to interview these projects to get a grasp on their take on the upcoming wave of on-chain social media, and where that will take use in the future. I reached out to the creator of Memo, Jason Chavannes, with some questions for discussion for this article. Due to a seemingly busy schedule, the questions were not answered, but he did wish to link users to his philosophy for Memo, which can be found here.
I reached out to Blockpress, a relative newcomer to the on-chain social media scene, and realised they were a small team with big aspirations and a big heart. So I sat down with the creator of Blockpress, to chat about the current landscape of social media, their platform, and their goals for the future.
Blockpress is a project based in Canada, which offers a familiar look and feel to Twitter. The difference between Twitter and Blockpress is that content posted on Blockpress is uncensorable. As users post their content directly via transactions on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, it benefits from Bitcoin’s designed functionality as a means for uncensorable transactions.
An immutable ledger: A permanent history that cannot be changed or deleted (barring an extremely large scale and economically-disincentivised attack on the network).
How should people use this new social media with it’s new rules? What should be a new user’s relationship to identity, anonymity and privacy in social media, in light of a technology of permanence and indestructibility, where information and history will be carried through the sands of time
Blockpress feels they have a duty to educate, inform the public and foster a positive direction for society, while also bringing caution and awareness to the risks people can get into with their identities and social media.
The balance between the safety of anonymous actions versus the benefits of a record of actions associated with your identity, is something people will need to weigh carefully. Once users understand this, they are ready to dive into a welcoming space, where users and creators can express themselves fully, at their own discretion and choice.
The goal of the project and its creators, is to provide the tools that users need for publishing and monetising any kind of content. Some of the next planned features are tools for people to create stories, blogs, photo galleries and share music. To have ways for content creators to promote themselves effectively and earn money for themselves or any special causes they want to contribute to. Blockpress hopes to differentiate from competitors like Yours (monetised articles and blogs) and Memo (monetised Twitter-like social network platform enhanced by tipping and posting-by-payment) by nurturing their own segment, acknowledging overlaps, while forging their own path forward.
Blockpress estimates that they will be ready to onboard a number of users similar to the current Twitter network within the next five years. Scaling to terabytes and petabytes looks within scope, with companies like Lokad already in the midst of terabyte scaling research.
Demand is growing for control over one’s online social identities, and the wish for maximum choice and freedom. Bitcoin Cash-based media platforms like Blockpress, Memo, and Yours are in the right place at the right time: interest in cryptocurrency and related technology is high, and faith in the broken, old platforms of social media is at an all-time low. Driven away by censorship, users are becoming more and more receptive towards alternatives.
On-chain media platforms on Bitcoin Cash are innovating and integrating new features at an extremely rapid and impressive pace. These new media platforms are solving the problems with old social media, and are poised for massive adoption. Users are demanding better freedom and quality of interaction from their social media and time, and new on-chain social media on Bitcoin Cash are there to pick up where old social media has given up.
Bitcoin Cash is the river that carries all these highly sought-after solutions into the foreseeable future.
“If you create value in people’s lives, value will come back.” – Blockpress, 2018
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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