What’s the real story behind Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover? Is this good for crypto, does all the talk about “free speech” really mean something; and, do we actually like Elon again? This is the same guy who killed the bullrun with an overhyped twitter profile and some environmental fud, but on the other hand, he does hate censorship as much as we do; and that’s the main reason we own crypto in the first place. Real financial freedom through financial assets we actually own.
And it doesn’t stop there. We’re web-savvy enough to own our data and social interactions as well, and we know that even an Elon-run Twitter just isn’t going to cut it. He has a big voice on Twitter with 125 million followers, and we know the only real way to kill censorship is with decentralization. That’s why I’m learning more about DeSoc, or decentralized social media: an emerging investment category that has the potential to dethrone the social media giants and put all our interactions on the blockchain.
Let’s get it.
Welcome to BitBoy Crypto, the people’s channel, home of the BitSquad. The largest and greatest in all of the interwebs. My name is Ben, and today I dive into decentralized social media and how Lens Protocol is building the foundation for decentralized versions of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
- The Twitter takeover gave us a taste of censorship-resistant social media. We know we want it, but we haven’t really gotten it yet. Here’s what has unfolded so far:
- When Elon bought Twitter, he fired most of the 120 members of Twitter’s “Trust and Safety team” who, like the name implies, were in charge of maintaining what they call the ”safety” of its users. Safety measures like profile bans and restrictions on certain topics.
- Yoel Roth was hired to take over from someone Elon called Twitter’s “chief censor”, and even though he later quit, even Roth admitted in a New York Times op-ed that content moderation was “I know it when i see it” style decision making that reflected personal values.
- Social media giants are ripe for takeover, but is Elon’s way a true remedy or just another band aid fix?
- He wants censorship to be limited to “that which matches the law”, and that makes sense, but his way of implementing it is impulsive and unscientific. Like his polls asking followers which accounts should be reinstated or even whether he should step down as CEO.
- Having Elon as the figurehead of Twitter still makes it mega centralized, regardless of his intent to represent everyone on the platform.
- This innovation void is why decentralized social media or DeSoc has potential as an emerging investment category and eventual use case in the next bullrun.
- Have you read Ryan Selkis’ 2023 Messari crypto Thesis? You should check it out. It’s a projection of what’s looking bullish for next year, and the biggest theme is getting back to the roots of why we are right to stick with crypto, which I’ll talk more about later in the video.
- And don’t forget to smash up that like button! It’s the best way to help the channel and get more Web3 content out to more people.
- The report discusses Lens Protocol: a social graph layer that allows a network of people to connect, and looks a lot like the framework for social media platforms we use now.
- Lens isn’t a user interface, it’s the backend of social media that’s put out the welcome mat for developers to create apps people can use.
- This is already happening; social media dapps are building as we speak. One is called Lenster, a permissionless platform that feels a lot like Twitter.
- It’s the front end of the three layers of decentralized social media–which are the interface that we use, the social graph that connects everyone, and content storage because ourbanger tweets and outfit of the day pics need to live somewhere.
- It means the end of being slaves to algorithms and advertisers, because the social graph is decentralized, the community has to agree on new features so no one has full control.
- Lens is built on polygon, and created by the team behind AAVE.
- The Messari report identifies the social graph and content layers as the most valuable, because once someone’s content is stored on the social graph, it can be used with any front end program built on Lens. They’re not locked in.
- Identity on Lens is anchored by NFTs. Users mint an NFT that encompasses their one-of-one identity, and followers receive follow NFTS that can be encoded with additional value. Profiles can easily monetize and create DAOs for group decision making.
- Imagine a Mr. Beast DAO, or BitSquad? We could do mighty things.
NFTs and Identity
- These NFTs are the central pillar of how lens and other DeSo platforms intersect with DeFi and Identity.
- Decentralized identity is coming, and I think this is what “NFTs are the future” really means.
- Lens has (dot).lens addresses similar to .ETH domains that wrap a human-readable name around crypto wallets. Tokens can be sent and received using an easy to read address, and the wallet becomes the proof of identity and humanity.
- There are projects adding more privacy to crypto-powered identity so that we can reveal different versions of ourselves online depending on who we interact with.
- For example, New Year’s party pics have a home on instagram but don’t really belong on your linked in.
- Urbit is already working on something like this, with a We-Chat like interface where users have data autonomy by communicating through encrypted messages.
Blockchain: why we’re here
- Getting back to our roots of self-custody and ownership.
- Blockchain started as a way to custody our own funds without having to rely on government, big banks and corporations.
- What exactly were we getting away from? Censorship. Control of us and our assets for someone else’s benefit; and this is why blockchain is useful for managing our identities and interactions online.
- If you need a reminder of who we are and why we’re here, Selkis captured it perfectly in a tweet:
- He says: I’m sick of feeling like we have to apologize for our early stage and walk on eggshells around politicians and regulators”. This is a 2 trillion financial market built from scratch, and a lot of the quote-un-quote bad things that happen in crypto already happen in banks. To regulators he says: “don’t pretend you’re here to save people from us. We started this movement to save people from you”.
- And that’s the truth, we’re in crypto to do things our own way, and with all the issues surrounding censorship in social media, we want to take back our internet identity as well.
Blockchain Web3 has a ton of potential to move away from censorship, and that’s why I’ve got an eagle eye on DeSo as an investment opportunity for 2023 as blockchain innovation that could change the world for the better.
That’s all I got!
Be Blessed, Bitboy out.