Block.one opens blockchain-based Voice social network to limited public access
Blockchain startup Block.one opened its blockchain-powered social network Voice over the weekend to limited public access with a promise to reward users for quality content. Declared in 2019, Voice is pitched as a blockchain-based social media application designed with users of the platform in mind. Providing a “more transparent social media platform for the world,” users of the service are rewarded for their content by the Voice Token cryptocurrency. Users verified on the service receive tokens based on their participation that they will ultimately be able to convert to money.
The service has resulted in testing from being Twitter-like earlier in the year to be slightly closer to a mix of Facebook and Medium. Posts made on Voice can either be short-form or long-form with a preference for long-form as part of the push by Voice for quality content. Voice is created on Block.one’s EOSIO protocol best known for the EOS token. EOSIO launched in 2018 with a promise of providing an operating system that enables scalable decentralized autonomous communities with the assistance of asynchronous smart contract communication.
Arguably EOSIO’s and Block.one’s biggest claim to fame is holding the record for the most extensive initial coin offering in history after raising $4.2 billion from investors. The ICO gained the attention of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which claimed that the tokens in the ICO were given as an unregistered security. Block.one settled with SEC for $24 million in September. Voice was initially scheduled to go public later in the year. The recent access is partial because though all can read the content on Voice, signups need a request for early access. The ability to invite others to Voice will be accessible starting Aug. 15.
“We were prepping for a big reveal in the fall — but things changed. The world changed,” Voice Chief Executive Officer Salah Michael Zalatimo said in a statement. “So, we’ve decided to open up our platform now and invite the community to be a part of the building process.” Zalatimo added that the current environment has “fully exposed the corrupt social spaces created by Big Tech. It’s time to break away and put humans first. We need your help. It’s time for social as it should be.”
Exactly what Zalatimo means by that isn’t exactly clear. When it was declared in 2019, Block.one described Voice as “a more transparent social media platform for the world, where the value of good content gets circulated right back into sustaining the community, not corporate bottom lines.” Rewarding creators for participation is not bad, but it’s an approach that has already been attempted with little success. Minds.com and Steemit are two examples, and although both have a carved out a niche audience, neither has developed to the point where it has joined the mainstream.
Voice has the benefit of being supported by Block.one and its ICO funds; however, it must differentiate itself if it has any opportunity of mainstream success. So far, apart from not being evil and rewarding users, there’s nothing that stands out, but that could improve as the service continues to be developed.