Most social media platforms are free. You can use Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, or what have you at no economic cost. However, over the years, studies and scandals have revealed that these platforms and the companies running them are monetizing you — your information, media, and your online habits as a whole.
As many like to say, if “you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.” As put by entrepreneur Brendan Blumer in a recent keynote, “You just can’t rebuild a house when the foundation is crumbling. Social media was created to use its users. Right now, it’s the companies, not the users that reap the rewards.”
Yet, with crypto assets and blockchain technologies, some are sure that we can turn this issue on its head, allowing consumers to take control of their information once again. Block.one, the company behind cryptocurrency project EOS, is looking to do just that with its newest venture.
Voice, An EOS-Based Social Platform
For the past few months, the Cayman Islands-registered Block.one has hyped up B1June, an anniversary event of the launch of the EOS blockchain. The day has passed, and with this came a few interesting announcements.
Per a press release obtained by Blockonomi, Block.one’s big announcement is Voice, an EOS blockchain-based social media application meant to empower users and to usurp the hegemony of Facebook and its ilk. As the release explains, “Voice is a is a more transparent social media platform for the world,” where good content gets rewarded and where the powers at be aren’t scrapping for every tidbit of information.
Instead of building a platform where data is auctioned to the highest bidder, who then turn around to “flood our feeds with hidden agendas”, Block.one has built Voice to be “more aligned with the world” in that it promotes and cultivates proper content creation, curation, and sharing. Block.one’s release adds, “Through a truly self-sustaining economy of ideas, users will directly benefit from their ideas and engagement on the platform.”
So how exactly does all this work?
Well, according to the Voice website, all functions will be transparent on the EOS blockchain, allowing for transparency to be “the core part of the experience.” In doing this, there will purportedly be no algorithms to determine your feed, nor invisible hands trying to manipulate how users think and interact on the network.
In terms of curbing fake accounts, Block.one will be harnessing a “special authentication system” to get rid of robots, catfishes, and burner accounts. And, to promote a “level playing field”, Block.one has created the fittingly named Voice Token, which is touted by Block.one’s chief technology officer Daniel Larimer as the “fairest crypto token” as it can only be created through real digital interactions.
When posting content, users earn Voice. And then, if they want to make their voices heard, they can put up Voice tokens, thereby giving smaller users — or those with the ability to scoop up Voice en-masse — a chance to let their voices be heard.
Some have been skeptical of Voice though. Delphi Digital’s Tom Shaughnessy explains that Larimer’s track record is somewhat spotty, as the technologist and cryptocurrency pioneer did found blockchain-based social media Steemit before leaving for Block.one. This isn’t the best precedent. And there’s a kicker, Shaughnessy claims that all data on Voice will be “at the whim of 15 of 21 [EOS] block producers.”
What Else Was Announced?
During B1June, Block.one also made two other important announcements.
Firstly, the company has teamed up with Coinbase to launch EOS on Coinbase’s Earn platform, which gives users in 19 jurisdictions the chance to earn $10 worth of the cryptocurrency by consuming educational content.
And secondly, Larimer unveiled EOS VM, an upgrade in the blockchain’s protocol meant to increase efficiency across the board. The upgrade will purportedly allow for smart contract processes on the blockchain to be upwards of 12 times faster than it was one year ago at EOS’ launch.