Bitclout is an open-source cryptocurrency project and social media platform where users can buy and sell “creator coins’ ‘ based on people’s reputations. I kind of like the stock market for “clout”. Each Bitclout user has their own “creator coin” which can be bought, sold, and transferred. And every transaction is immutably validated on a custom-built decentralized blockchain. Fees for these transactions are minuscule and essentially unnoticeable, unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum transaction fees. Posts to the platform are similar to Twitter in that users can type a 560 character limit, add a photo and links to video and audio feeds from Spotify, YouTube, etc. Also, like Twitter, other users can like, comment, reclout (a la retweet), and tip in the form of diamonds (which we’ll explore later). However, on Twitter, you can make a fantastic tweet that is retweeted countless times and you really receive nothing. On Bitclout.com, your post can be liked, recounted, and you can even be showered with diamonds. Again, more on that later.
There is no official CEO of Bitclout, as it is ostensibly a decentralized blockchain created by a loose band of VC-backed developers. Officially it is just some coins and code. We at The BitClout Podcast are rather early adopters of the platform. Our host, known as “BitCloutBilly” on the platform learned about Bitclout on a Thursday afternoon in March 2021 and released the first Bitclout related podcast within 24 hours. Read on to learn more of what we’ve learned while being active users. It’s not a perfect platform, but the steady stream of new developments and improvements from the core dev team has been impressive and fun to chronicle. Billy was quoted early on for remarking “Bitclout is Ethereum for social”. We think Bitclout has massive potential for the coming “creator economy”.
History of BitClout
Bitclout was developed by a somewhat anonymous team of developers with a vision to radically disrupt social media as we know it by taking the power away from the centralized corporate elites who have become prone to censoring and de-platforming users, like Donald Trump and countless others with whom they disagree. “Diamondhands” is the moniker chosen by the leader of this development team. He, or they, are not entirely unknown in the crypto world. Having conceived the vision for a decentralized user-controlled social media platform many years ago. They eventually enlisted the funding of well-known Silicon Valley venture firms to fund it. Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Social Capital, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Coinbase Ventures, the Winklevoss twins, and other notable VCs are on the public list of VC backers. The launch on March 24th, 2021 via Bitclout.com was very clunky, and required visitors to the site to use a separate link and special password just to access the front page of the site.
The problem was this info was not disclosed publicly on the landing page so early Bitclouters were left totally confuse. And mystified as to why such a comprehensive platform completely lacked an intuitive interface. Essentially, it was “word of mouth” for most of the first month or so.
The launch was very controversial since the dev team decided to “scrape” Twitter for the top profiles to create “reserved” profiles for the top 15k Twitter users on BitClout. Additionally, each of these reserved “influencer profiles” came pre-loaded with a creator coin price proportionate to each respective user’s Twitter follower count. Some viewed this as a brilliant marketing strategy to lure influencers to bring their massive follower bases. Consequently, Elon Musk, having the highest follower count. Has a reserved profile awaiting him on Bitclout with a coin price that has reached as high as $65,000 or more based on the average price of Bitclout. The native currency of the blockchain.
As of this writing, ElonMusk coin is trading at more than $25k and has a market cap of over $8.05M. Elon will need only tweet his BitClout public key and he’s free to do what he likes with the coin awaiting him. At this time his current coin ownership is worth approximately $1.1M. But wait, didn’t we say his market cap exceeds $8M? That’s because many other creators have purchased ElonMusk coin. Speculating he’ll join the platform and the coin price will dramatically increase. Many of these speculators each have purchased more than $1M worth of Elon’s coins. Demonstrating that there are already many “whales” swimming in the Bitclout waters.
The “reserved accounts” were met with no small amount of outrage from some Twitter influencers. One reserved Twitter influencer filed a lawsuit to have his profile removed. Another publicly announced he would join, claimed his account. Then swiftly liquidated his holdings and left the platform, as was his right. Nevertheless, since Bitclout is a marketplace for trading in reputation, he may later wish he hadn’t done this. His credibility on Bitclout will never recover because this transaction is forever disclosed on the Bitclout blockchain. And can never be modified or reversed. The core dev team has subsequently removed the reserve accounts of somes. Twitterers who’ve publicly stated they intend to commit the same “rug pull”.
At launch, the only way to purchase the BitClout currency ($CLOUT) was to send Bitcoin to a specified address in order to purchase $CLOUT. On 26th April 2021, BitClout Exchange Listing API went live which would allow crypto-asset exchanges to list $CLOUT for trading. Since one of the early criticisms of Bitclout was the absence of an offramp to convert $CLOUT to other currencies. The community was very pleased with this announcement. Later, the supply of BitClout has capped at ~10.8 million coins through what is called the “Deflation Bomb”. This was a big change from the initial Bitclout whitepaper which described that the price of each Bitclout would double for every 1 million $CLOUT sold. In July 2021, Blockchain.com became the first public exchange to list $CLOUT for trading. As of this writing, the listing is planned on larger exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance.
The native currency of the Bitclout blockchain is $CLOUT. You must have Bitclout to do anything on the platform, but don’t despair. It only takes a very small amount of Bitclout currency to get started. Currently, you can buy $CLOUT your credit or debit card directly on the platform through Wyre. As mentioned above you can also send your Bitcoin directly to the platform to purchase the currency.
Plus, you can even get free Bitclout upon sign up. (NOTE: the free $CLOUT can only be obtained once per account)To receive 1/10th of a $CLOUT coin you must submit to KYC AML procedures. NOTE: KYC means “Know Your Customer” and AML means Anti-Money Laundering. Any crypto exchange transacting in the United States is required to collect certain information from customers in order to comply with AML KYC protocols. If none of these three strategies are suitable for you. There are several accounts created specifically to help you by sending you a small amount of Bitclout so you can get to know the platform. Currently, no person is required to submit to KYC / AML protocols in order to create and operate an account.
Now that you’ve obtained your first $CLOUT, you can really explore the uniqueness of Bitclout by supporting other creators by buying their respective coins,or even bidding on and buying NFTs which are now natively auctioned on the platform with minuscule fees compared to other blockchains.
What are Creator Coins?
Every account on Bitclout comes with its own creator coin. Anybody can buy and sell these coins and the price of each coin goes up. And down based on a bonding curve when bought or sold. This bonding curve rewards the earliest creator coin purchasers most so conventional wisdom dictates that each creator should want to own at least a few of their first coins created. For every coin created, the price inflates exponentially. When you create your account, your “Founders Reward” (FR) defaults to 100%. The Founders Reward is the percentage of the sale of your coin coming to you when someone purchases your coin. This default setting allows you to purchase your coin before anyone else can. Once you’ve purchased about $.02 USD you can lower your FR to a percentage that rewards you while also appearing attractive to a purchaser. Lower FR’s are most attractive to buyers but less of the purchase comes to you as $CLOUT for later use
There has been much debate among early users as to the relative appropriateness of selling your own creator coin so be aware that some people frown upon this because it decreases your coin price thereby lowering the value of what other users hold in your coin. Therefore, setting your FR to a level that nets you funds to underwrite your efforts on the platform is important.
There is no rule of thumb for this so feel free to experiment since you can change your FR as many times as you like.
Buying Other’s Creator Coins
You can simply search their profile and hit the Buy button. The top 15,000 celebrities from twitter have been pre-loaded into this platform. Even though they are not on the platform yet, you can buy and sell their coins. These reserved profiles have a clock next to their names which indicates that they have not joined by tweeting out their Bitclout public address. Once they’ve claimed their profile you notice a blue check next to their account. In the early Bitclout days it was popular to invest in unclaimed Twitter influencer accounts. As time progressed users began to focus more on purchasing the coins of lesser-known or unknown users who are actively posting, developing, and engaging on the platform.
The Uses of Creator Coins
Creator coins are a new type of asset. Truly they are the first tool we have as a society to trade “social reputation”. There is no single reason to purchase a particular coin. Some speculate the price will increase dramatically. And others will purchase a particular coin just to show support. And love for a person or project with which they resonate.
Minting & Selling NFTs Natively on BitClout
NFT’s are the acronym for non-fungible tokens. Learn more about them here. The NFT craze has literally exploded simultaneously with the rollout of Bitclout. While the technology allows artists a brand new way to monetize their creations. Many found the blockchain transactions to be way too high to make it worth minting and selling an NFT. Platforms like Raible, OpenSea, and Hic Et Nunc exploded onto the scene but still suffer from spikes in blockchain fees and even outages. In July of 2021, Bitclout launched the ability for artists to mint and sell NFT’s natively on the Bitclout blockchain with fees that are essentially unnoticeable.
You can even mint and auction or sell your individual posts as NFT’s similar to the way @Jack did with his 1st tweet on Twitter. The difference is that Jack had to screenshot his tweet and mint it on a separate blockchain. You don’t have to go through all that on Bitclout. Some Cloutier is getting creative with their NFT’s by offering unique experiences to the holders of their NFT’s with unlockable content. For example, an hour of coaching, sponsorships, mastermind group access, access to a live event, and even real-world items like t-shirts.
Bitclout NFT’s are also very unique in that a portion of a creator’s NFT sale can be sent back to the creator’s coin holders as a cash flow, even on secondary sales. The full use of NFT’s on the platform has yet to be imagined and implemented.
The Future and BitClout
Many other developments have been released since Bitclout.com was launched. But likely one of the biggest was the release of the Bitclout code on Github. The announcement by Diamondhands disclosed a vision for the future of Bitclout where anyone can run their own node or version of the platform with FULL access to the data “firehose”. Already, many developers have created their own curated feeds of the platform available through unique websites and/or mobile apps. Therefore, the Bitclout dev team has announced their intention to someday disarm their interface, Bitclout.com. And let the blockchain roam freely decentralized in the world with access through countless nodes, websites, and apps.
Could it become the economic rails for Web 3.0? We can only speculate, but it’s provocative to imagine a world where big tech oligarchs. And governments are unable to moderate and censor thought and information. This is what truly excites us at the Bitclout Podcast.