I am experimenting with the new BitClout blockchain social network

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith/Gado Images

Bitclout is among the most successful companies in a new wave of apps collectively dubbed Web3. Bitclout functions like a social network. People can create accounts on the Bitclout platform and post textual updates, photos, videos and more, just like on a traditional social network such as Twitter. Unlike traditional social media apps, though, Bitclout is powered by the blockchain. Posts on the app flow from creators to users without the need for a centralized company sitting in the middle, running servers, policing content, and slurping up personal information.

That aspect of Bitclout already makes it unique and interesting. But another aspect of the app makes it even more compelling. Bitclout has a unique approach to rewarding creators for the content they post on its network. Each creator on Bitclout (and controversially, some creators who aren’t on the network) is assigned their own cryptocurrency token representing them as a personality. Each creator’s token has a price, and the price tends to rise and fall based on how much notoriety the creator has gained on the Bitclout network and in the real world.

Post frequently on Bitclout or sell your company to Google for $100 million, and your Bitclout creator coin is likely to gain in value. Get canceled, offend the Internet, or stop posting to Bitclout and the price of your coin will tend to fall. The price of creators’ coins tends to emulate their real-world notoriety, at least among tech people. As I write this, Elon Musk’s creator coin is worth over $24,000, making him the most valuable person tracked by Bitclout.

Crucially, though, Bitclout doesn’t just track the price of creators’ coins. It also allows creators to invest in their own coins, and to encourage others to do the same. As more people buy a creator’s coin, the price tends to go up, making the creator’s own investment in themselves more valuable. (Creators can also opt to take a variable percentage of future investment as a bonus). Likewise, if the creator becomes more active on the Bitclout network or achieves some major real-world success, their notoriety will rise and their investment in their own coin is likely to increase in value.

It’s a unique way to reward creators for creating great content, both on Bitclout and beyond. Rather than relying on patrons to support them out of kindness (like on Patreon) or subscribers to pay them directly for their content (like on Substack) creators can join their audiences as co-investors, jointly sharing in the creator’s future success, and hopefully raising revenues through coin investments that the creator can use to support their own creative efforts. Other elements of the network — like the ability to bestow small tips ranging from a few cents to a few dollars upon a creator’s content using a feature called Diamonds — cements the creator/audience partnership.

I love this. I’m all for systems that reward creators based on how their content performs. I’m fine with being paid nothing if my content doesn’t take off, in exchange for unlimited potential earnings if it does extremely well. I also love systems that prove a person has skin in the game, a la Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Because Bitclout’s blockchain instantly reveals whether a creator has invested in their own coin — as well as the extent of their investment — it signals to other potential investors whether the person has put their own money on the line, and thus how much they believe in their own success on the platform and beyond.

I believe in my own content immensely. And I believe in the value of investing in yourself, and having skin in the game. To that end, I’ve just put $1,000 into my own creator coin on Bitclout, which the network calls “Tomsmith585 Token.” After fees (which were substantial), that worked out to about $970 actually invested.

I plan to begin posting content to the platform on a daily basis. I have no idea how this will all pan out — I could well lose my entire investment if something catastrophic happens to Bitclout and its underlying $DESO currency, or if people simply don’t like my content. I could also fall prey to people who bid up a creator’s coin value and then dump their coin, cratering it.

Of course, I could also end up making tons of money. As I write this, my coin is valued at around $120. That value jumped substantially, from around $20, before I put my $1,000 investment in. If I became more popular than Elon Musk and trounced his $24,000 valuation, my token would have achieved 1,200x gains since.

I also like that Bitclout gives me some involvement in my own token. Cryptocurrencies are volatile, and one can easily lose their investment by choosing the wrong ones. In most cases, though, individuals (save for Elon Musk) have almost no control over how currency markets perform. With Tomsmith585 token, my currency at least stands a chance of making substantial gains if I, as a content creator, do well. That’s a major motivator, both to invest in me on Bitclout and also to keep churning out valuable content for my audience.

Want to see how my investment pans out? Follow along here, and you can see the outcomes of all my $1K Tests, as well as many updates along the way.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. Always consult a professional advisor for advice specific to your situation before making any major financial decisions, and never invest more than you can afford to lose. Thomas Smith holds a diversified investment portfolio that includes a variety of securities and cryptocurrencies, and approximately $1000 of his own Bitclout creator coin.

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Award-winning entrepreneur, and the co-founder and CEO of Gado Images. Thomas writes, speaks and consults about artificial intelligence, privacy, food, photography, tech, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As a professional photographer, Thomas' photographic work regularly appears in publications worldwide. Pitches/news tips: tom@gadoimages.com

Lafayette, CA

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