A mysterious website called BitClout, that was selling Crypto coins for celebrities was shut down on Friday, 12 March 2021, and was back on Wednesday afternoon. BitClout, a decentralized social network and workplace has been accused of selling celebrity backed-NFTs without authorization. The “iFan-esque”, which claimed to be backed by top venture capitalists, had suddenly been shut down. Some information about BitClout still claims it to be a fully-open sourced project, with no company behind it.
NFT on BitClout
On BitClout, the NFTs, called the Creator Coins, represented the identity of celebrities. The value of each celebrity’s respective Creator Coin was evaluated based on their popularity. Therefore, people could be able to make gains from the sales by speculating on the coin of each and every influencer.
Non-Fungible Token or simply NFT, has been making a lot of buzz in the crypto world these days. Lately, Beeple’s digital art sold one of their art collections, ‘Everyday: The First 5000 Days’ through NFT, and it was bought by Metakovan for a hefty price of $69 million. On the same day, CryptoPunk alien bought for $15k in 2018 and sold for $8 million recently. Amidst this uprising fame, BitClout announced the sale of celebrity backed NFTs without obtaining any consent from them. According to Billboard’s report, the company had created NFTs using identities of over 15,000 Twitter influencers and celebrities.
Value of each creator coin
The FAQ on their website says, the value of each creator coin of the respective celebrity depends on the reputation of an individual, rather than a company or a commodity. This means, if a celebrity does something great and creates buzz, more people end up buying his/her creator coin. This makes the value of their coin go up. On the other hand, if the celebrities get slashed, fail publicly or commit an offensive act, the value of their coin goes down.
To buy these creator coins, users need to purchase their BitClout cryptocurrency, and this can be acquired by only bitcoins. Allowing only bitcoins could probably limit their audience. The price of every BitCloud doubles after every million BitClouds are sold. It is designed to promote scarcity and increase the value of BitClout.
Re-emergence after being shut down
Before the site was shut down on Friday March 12th, there was a countdown timer running for 12 PM PST, which indicated that the site would be re-launched, but the plan didn’t go accordingly. The network was reportedly slow as the search bar was broken and the entire page was buggy. Anyway, the website was back on Wednesday, March 17th.
In the aftermath of BitClout site’s re-emergence, executives of the music referred to the platform to a ‘Black Mirror Episode’ on their clubhouse audio chatroom. For now, the biggest question standing in front of the audience is whether the creators will be claiming their coins or not. Nobody even knows if it is legal for a social network to monetize potential users even before signing up. Jake Udell, the founder of TH3RD BRAIN management firm said, “ On one side, it looks like copyright infringement lawsuits waiting to happen. On the other side, who are you going to sue?”
Celebrities on BitClout
Few of the priciest creator coins are the one representing Elon Musk, which is currently trading at $68,000 and the other, representing Katy Perry, which is trading at $17,500. There is almost 430 million locked in Elon Musk’s profile on BitClout. Kim Kardashian’ s and Justin Bieber’s coins too, are trading at $14,500 each.
Apart from these celebrities, there are also creator coins set up for almost every famous music artist, including, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, Drakem Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, and even public figures like Donald Trump. These personalities had their identity tokenized and sold on BitCLout’s platform. According to Billboard, prices for Elon Musk and Billie Eilish’s creator coins soared right before the website shut down. The creator coin for Kanye West had skyrocketed to $7,000 and the market price for each unit of Bitclout’s native token was just $88.
BitClout is Trending
Not surprisingly, everyone is now talking about BitClout on social media. This may be the fastest growing brand we’ve ever seen!
I’m so confused how tf does this work? https://t.co/PGXVzEVIpe— SBF (@SBF_Alameda) March 17, 2021
Unless I’m mistaken, the Bitclout scheme has so far been able to raise 2,705 BTC, which is ~$155M.— Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) March 17, 2021
Address here: https://t.co/R0jDmSpTCx
Do NOT buy my bitclout coin.— 0x_Infinitum (@CryptoMessiah) March 17, 2021
I am literally going to dump this on you guys.
If you buy it… you are accepting this fact.
My coin will have no purpose.. or utility.
Only utility is dumping on dumbasses. https://t.co/2WRzNYmUhc
This might be revolutionary in terms of social networking. However, it is bad that the tokens were sold without the consent of the celebrities. None of the celebrities have claimed these profiles on BitClout so far, but they could be real. The actual person behind the reserved profile can claim it through a verification process. They can also claim a percentage of their creator coins and there is no cap on that percentage. Through this, many celebrities could easily translate to millions of dollars.
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Hitesh Malviya is the Founder of ItsBlockchain. He is one of the most early adopters of blockchain & cryptocurrency enthusiast in India. After being into space for a few years, he started IBC in 2016 to help other early adopters learn about the technology.
Before IBC, Hitesh has founded 4 companies in the cyber security & IT space.
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