We've long since been able to invest in startups and companies, but what about investing in people? This is the idea behind BitClout, a decentralized social network that is taking Nerd Twitter by storm. Actually, one way to think about BitClout is as a Nerd Twitter. It's a kind of Twitter where every profile has its own "coin" which people can purchase and hold onto like they would a share in Apple or Tesla.
This could work
The idea of investing in people has always excited me. The same way I can buy shares in a company because I believe in its vision, I would also like to have the possibility of buying shares in people and creators. With BitClout, this is becoming a reality, but there's still the possibility that it might not stick.
BitClout is created by a group of anonymous developers, but it does have some legitimacy, receiving funding from prominent investors such as Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as many others in the crypto space. Ah, there's that word. Yes, BitClout runs on a blockchain similar to Bitcoin's. In fact, you can only use the social network with bitcoin as of right now. Read more about the technical side of things here if you're interested.
There's a timeline, retweets, likes, and following people- except following people on BitClout involves paying into their coin. There's a panel on the right side of the home page with a list of the week's top creators who are being invested in the most. Topping the list is Elon Musk, whose personal coin is currently valued at $88,031 each. Interestingly enough, he hasn't even claimed his profile on BitClout yet, but when/if he does, he has nearly $4 million worth of his coin sitting there waiting for him (10% of the coin is automatically set aside for whomever the profile belongs to).
BitClout pre-populated its platform with 15,000 of the most popular people in order for users to get a jump start on investing in their favorite people. Controversial? A little. Out of the top ten weekly creators, three of them have logged on and claimed their profiles. In order to do so, they had to tweet out a link to their page via their verified Twitter accounts. In other words, If Elon wants his BitClout profile, it will involve him tweeting it out to his 50 million Twitter followers. On one hand it's a brilliant marketing strategy. On the other it feels a little slimy.
As of now you can only use BitClout by transferring some of your bitcoin to the platform when you create a profile. This is too complex for everyday people. Also, BitClout currently offers no way to withdraw, only deposit. This is obviously.. concerning. And feels a little.. scammy. But the creators say this will be resolved soon. In reality, the platform is still in its infancy.
Ultimately BitClout will be a very interesting experiment, whether it takes off or fails. If it takes off, creators will have a new way of monetizing their content that doesn't involve ads or sponsors, and their fans will be able to share in the rewards of their success and reputations. If it fails, we still saw the potential, and we learned that a lot of people are very excited by this concept.
We shall stay tuned into this madness.