In the recent months, a number of technology and social media companies opted to go against the “deceitful financial transactions”. They promised not to allow their platform to be used for promotion of assets/services like blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and ICOs. In fact, the leading search engine and social network announced to completely ban crypto-related advertisements, shielding themselves from potential legal liability if the ads are scams or the digital coins are eventually regulated as securities.
Many folks thought of this being a very negative news for the cryptocurrency market but turned out to be a wrong assessment (as we have covered in one of our recent articles).
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have found some alternative platforms, which interestingly are backed by the very blockchain technology they are interested in. A recent report by Bloomberg reveals that video creators are going away from Google (which owns YouTube) and Facebook, and finding safe heavens in emerging alternatives.
Take the example of Peter Czerwinski, who has roughly 5 million followers on YouTube, but they can’t see most of his new videos there. In order to watch 46 of the 71 weightlifting and related videos he posted recently, followers have to go to DTube. It looks quite similar to YouTube, but channel owners and content creators earn not from ads, but from donations by the viewers. DTube runs on the blockchain network Steem, and users can pay creators in digital tokens.
The best part (for many video creators) is that DTube has quite a lenient censorship policy. Conversely, YouTube has a tougher line on censoring offensive videos, which were against the editorial guidelines, or advertisers don’t want to be associated with.
Another example where the blockchain-powered social network is making up is of Steemit. Two-year-old Steemit has about a million accounts and added some 120,000 last month. A similar platform is LBYR which has roughly 0.6 million users. While these numbers are nothing as compared to the Facebook’s over 2 billion population, these sites do offer “real privacy and data security”.
Naomi Brockwell, a video creator in NY, who specializes in crypto material, says she’s already making an average of $40/video in Steem tokens – which could take her months on the leading sites like YouTube.
Brockwell was initially skeptical that the Steem tokens were worth anything. And it’s something of a pain to exchange them for U.S. dollars: On most cryptocurrency exchange sites, you have to trade them for Bitcoin first, then swap the Bitcoin for cash. Creators can expect to retain significant control with blockchain sites because there are few barriers if they decide to leave.
Take this like email services – you get the service from a number of sites. If you don’t like one, it’s relatively easy to make a switch. Similarly, due to the decentralized nature of blockchain networks, tech-savvy users can find ways to post controversial or uncensored material, even if he tries to block or ban it. However, this could open up a new debate about the possibility of these “Free” platforms being used for hate speech, and negative propaganda etc.
Finally, we do not imply that some emerging platforms could kick Facebook or YouTube out of business, but they are essentially attracting talent and creative people to them. Since these new platforms are powered by blockchain, they offer greater data security, better ROI, and a fully decentralized control, making them too attractive for millennials.