Hackernoon logoInvest In Bitclout? I'm NOT Buying It! by@richard

Invest In Bitclout? I'm NOT Buying It!

BitClout is a new type of social network that lets you speculate on people and posts with real money. It claims to be a decentralized platform where everyone has a coin that anyone can buy and sell. Creator coins are cryptocurrency tokens designed to improve audience monetization and engagement. The legal and accounting risk is way too high for me to participate. Invest In Bitclout? I'm NOT Buying It! Youre betting on the value of the creator, not their content, within their content.
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Richard Patey

Weekly newsletter about the digital creator economy >> getrevue.co/profile/patey

TLDR: The legal and accounting risk of BitClout is way too high for me to participate.

Before we talk about BitClout, let’s first get familiar with the concept of creator coins.

What are Creator Coins?

Creator coins are cryptocurrency tokens designed to improve audience monetization and engagement.

Rally Network is one company that offers creators the ability to launch their own coin.

They publish a list of creators, one of which is Joe Pulizzi who recently launched a great newsletter called The Tilt (Turning Content Creators into Content Entrepreneurs) along with its $TILT coin where:

By buying and holding $TILT you are supporting the creator and participating in their economy. As a $TILT holder you are eligible for creator benefits and $RLY rewards.

Joe talks about integrating his coin into his referral program, merchandise and exclusive content, as well as a number of future use-cases.

An interesting one, looking through the Rally Wiki, is the creator coin bot for Discord. Currently, creators use platforms such as Patreon to integrate with Discord, where new subscribers get auto-added, and those who churn get removed.

Venturebeat spoke with the CEO of Rally, Kevin Chou who stated:

In our vision, over the next 10 years, every person in the world will just have their own token. It’s a way for you to encapsulate your digital brand — or the value of your business or brand or economy or just your financial reputation — onto a public blockchain… It’s on the public blockchain….It’s literally the creator’s own thing. You get the keys to your own smart contract.

A bold statement, and so far so good, but let’s now get to BitClout.

What is BitClout

BitClout has a one-pager that describes it as:

a new type of social network that lets you speculate on people and posts with real money, and it’s built from the ground up as its own custom blockchain

It claims to be a decentralized platform where everyone has a coin that anyone can buy and sell.

Your coin’s price goes up (along with the number of coins in existence) whenever somebody buys your coin.

As such it gives creators a value or market cap where investors can speculate on who they think will have more influence, and therefore value, in the future.

And whenever someone invests in your coin, they have a financial incentive to spread the word, boost your reputation, and help make you more famous.

Famous backers

Decrypt reported that BitClout controls a wallet with $170M of Bitcoin raised from A-list VC and crypto investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Coinbase Ventures, the Reddit co-founder, and the Winklevoss twins.

In fact, if this is the wallet, it currently shows $220M stored.

Founder rewards

BitClout has a founder reward percentage. It’s similar to when a creator sells an NFT and gets a % of future transactions.

By default, this is set at 10%, so whenever new coins get created, you get whatever % of those is set.

After random people started buying my coin, I quickly changed mine to 0% (see last section below for why).

BitClout projects

There’s a bunch of projects being built on BitClout, each with their own profile and therefore market cap, as shown at BitClout Hunt, or in this google doc list by Chris McCann.

One is Subclout which offers subscription newsletters to your coin-holders that own a $x of your coin. Their homepage states, ‘Owning is the new subscribing’.

This is particularly interesting to me, having built and sold a top 25 paid Substack publication (business category), and there’s a great recent podcast by Nathan Latka with the founder of Subclout.

And this is a useful Chrome extension by Cloutify that shows the market cap of people on Subclout within your Twitter feed as you scroll.

Right now there is no official way to sell your BitClout for another cryptocurrency, so BitSwap lets you sell for Ethereum, for a 4% fee.

Features

Coindesk reports that BitClout’s lead creator (called Diamondhands) says, it emphasizes the value of the creator, not their content. You’re betting on people’s ability to be useful in the future and their reputation.

This means you do not have to churn out content to justify your value.

youtube video by Alec Torelli lists ways in which you can give your coin value, including giving access to your inner circle, investing in your audience’s own coins, and offering a product/service to people who hold $X of your token.

For example, BitClout List, which lists the top creators by market cap, is incentivizing people to buy and hold their coins in order to access their private Telegram room.

As new features are developed on BitClout, it should be possible to only allow stake(coin)holders to comment on your posts (or message you). Currently, those with the highest Clout (coin price) get their comments showing at the top.

A recent feature just shipped is called reclouts, similar to Twitter retweets, which could be a way to decentralise ad revenue to users.

For example, rather than paying social media companies to advertise on their platform, you can buy a coin such as $reclouts where token holders ‘will have priority for reclouts of their posts going forward’.

Avoiding risk

Some people believe you should buy your own creator coins, especially at the beginning as they will cost the least.

But BitClout already feels ponzi-esque (something the website investing community is very familiar with - see The Income Store Scam) and I’m certainly not going to be investing in my coin to then shill myself to others.

Going back to Rally, Venturebeat states that the CEO:

Chou realizes a lot of people have been scammed in cryptocurrency startups and projects. And he doesn’t want the same to happen here. Rally will set up rules so the creators don’t run into any regulatory problems with the coin.

This is good, as with Subclout it feels as if you’re a one-person securitized ICO.

Indeed, Steph Smith from trends.co states you don't need to create an ICO:

I’m a poker player but I’m actually pretty risk-averse.

As such, I’m not going to have an offering on BitClout and I’m definitely not buying or holding my own coin.

Also with founder rewards set at 10% by default, every time new coins are created you get the percentage of someone’s buy. From my perspective, this is income you’ll need to keep track of for tax, at the USD basis of each purchase.

As such, I’m happy to watch BitClout from the sidelines, whilst waiting for good old centralized Twitter to launch super follows!


What do you think about BitClout? Coffeezilla thinks it’s a scam. Come comment in the new The Creator Economy facebook group or hit me up on Twitter @richardpatey.

Also published on Revue - sign up for my newsletter here.

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by Richard Patey @richard. Weekly newsletter about the digital creator economy >> getrevue.co/profile/pateySubscribe

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