Fixing Social Media Centralization with LBRY (Long / Opinion)
Disclaimer: This post is not financial advice and should be viewed for entertainment purposes only.
I firmly believe the most underrated project in cryptocurrency right now to be the LBRY protocol and the LBRY Credit (LBC) that underpins this network. Through this article, I will talk you through the current problem that society is facing followed by the technological solutions brought on by the LBRY network and how this could potentially lead to a major blockchain protocol that would ultimately underpin social media networks, identity and content management.
The Social Media Centralization Problem
Right now, all of social media is held by a few private companies on centralized platforms. This includes the likes of Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and so on. Historically, dating back a number of years ago, this wasn't a major issue. These platforms did meddle with your personal data and sell it off to the highest bidder but otherwise generally offered a fairly reasonable “free” service to gain the trust and usage of billions of users.
However, through the passage of time, the lengths at which companies are data mining their users, how they manage this data and how they censor users for any number of reasons including political beliefs or even governmental concerns has set Big Tech on a technological race to the bottom. The reason that this is happening is largely due to the monopolistic effects of their centralized core platforms. For instance, if you don't like the way that Twitter behaves, you don't really have any alternative microblogging platform to give your business and attention to. And if you do in fact leave Twitter and go elsewhere, you will lose all of your content, your followers and have no guarantee that any other platform that you end up switching to won't also do you a similar disservice that made you unhappy with Twitter down the road once they themselves grow in size and must pay service to the greater powers.
When Big Tech has this monopolistic stranglehold over it's user base, they yield all of the power and will monetize them to death and also hold them accountable to changing arbitrary demands over time. Big Tech is able to get away with this behavior because the users have no other choice and are forced to either accept arbitrary whims of fate or exit their platform into nothingness. This has created a marked decrease in the quality of life on all of the major social media platforms that long time users of these platforms can definitely attest to. YouTube, for instance, now favors “mainstream” content turning it into a form of cable television instead of favoring individual content creators of times past that once made the platform so interesting. And there is nothing that you, as a user, can do about the broad company directions that YouTube takes due to the nature of it's centralized planning.
Users of all shapes and sizes should be concerned about this type of deplatforming and narrative control by Big Tech and governments. Even for those unaffiliated with any political belief (which have been censored with increasing frequency and severity over time), you can still lose your content simply by living in various countries through no fault of your own. Countries in Europe have floated the idea of banning Facebook and Instagram while simultaneously outright banning various forms of oppositional governmental media, meanwhile users in parts of Asia have state controlled search engines and social media that exists only within a tight grasp of their regime. In either case or future cases for social media which are not yet known, losing access to all of your friends/followers, content, identity, messages and so forth, simply due to the whims of corporations or governments through either free speech or even through no fault of your own should be alarming. Especially when you feel that there is no solution to this problem or alternative direction that you can take.
The reason for the decline in the user experience of social media over time is simply due to a combination of both human nature and the base protocol rules. When Twitter or Reddit were set up, or numerous other platforms that were created, one could correctly assume that they were set up with the best of intentions by their founders. The founders may have hailed them as bastions of free speech and the democratization of power back to the individual. Unfortunately, the ultimate power at the end of the day is written into proprietary code owned and managed at each of these big tech platforms. And the rules can change over time leaving the users helpless to do anything about it. The rules will change increasingly towards monetization and authoritarianism with a slow mission creep in that direction that will likely never stop. What you need to prevent this type of degrading mission creep is an uncensorable base level protocol. Bitcoin is an excellent example of this type of technology and the first ever of it's kind. The consensus rules have been in for Bitcoin for some time now and no amount of developers or governments can change the rules written into this technology. The rules are fixed and it ultimately benefits the individuals using this technology permanently over time. If only similar could be done for social media!
One social media fad that has been propping up over the recent years are “alternative media” sites that are built on the exact same technology and promises that Big Tech originated from. This can be seen from websites like Parlor, Gettr, Rumble and Bitchute among countless other examples. The problem is that these centralized platforms are doomed from the start to eventually go down the exact same road as Big Tech if there aren't hard coded open source protocol rules establishing fairness from the beginning, like Bitcoin. You could think of these centralized websites like the Liberty Reserve equivalent predecessor to Bitcoin, a project that was doomed from the start.
And while the censorship and ownership problem has been on an increasingly bad course so far, I would expect things to get even worse with Big Tech over the coming years. This will happen as AI researchers learn how to optimize more efficiently and effectively to deploy any particular mechanisms they want to use to achieve their ends. Furthermore, any power obtained is just an excuse to grab even more power, which can only hurt the average user in the long run. I expect this to be a negative feedback loop which propagates on itself somewhat indefinitely for the time being as their power goes unchecked due to no viable competition in their social media bubble while simultaneously getting cooperation from governments worldwide. I feel that the mechanisms Big Tech and governments have used so far are only the beginning of social persuasion that will carry on into the future.
The problems listed up above and how they pertain to social media give me a very distinct feeling dating back to 2013 when I was dealing with multiple fiat money problems as a professional poker player that banned me from my own country (the United States) for playing the game I knew and loved when it was made illegal in April of 2011. When I was first learning about Bitcoin in a serious way in 2013, the solutions that Bitcoin offered and the problems it claimed to solve seemed too good to be true. So much so that I assumed that some part of Bitcoin had to be too good to be true. Fast forward to today and it turns out that it was too good and true – not a phrase that you will hear so often. And, for the first time in nearly a decade, I see a similar corollary here with the LBRY network. While almost everyone in society uses money and can appreciate some of the nonsense behind government based currency, almost everyone based in the modern world uses online social networks to at least some extent these days. And while the legacy fiat money networks are ridden with all kinds of corruption and problems that Bitcoin now competes on, the social media systems are plaguing the world in the same way in a very real sense and need a viable competitor.
LBRY / LBC Technology – The Fix
LBRY was founded in 2015, so this project has existed for an extremely long time in cryptocurrency terms. This means a couple of things. First that it has had sustained development over time, so you can look at how the project has historically run itself the past 7 years and furthermore that it isn't some edgy/scammy project full of promise with nothing to deliver but a white paper. It's already delivered a highly functional product that is consistently getting improved every single year and has started gaining a foothold in network effects having been around for so long.
Being so early in the space of blockchain and social media gives LBRY an extremely powerful first-mover advantage that will make it difficult for other products to compete on. This, historically, has proven to be decisive when picking out winners in the cryptocurrency space. Bitcoin, simply being first of it's kind and the merits under which it was created gives it immense power even if some competing cryptocurrency projects may have objectively better technology (highly debatable though). This same principle goes with Ethereum, the first cryptocurrency to introduce smart contract technology to the world, is now widely considered to be one of the only other confirmed cryptocurrency success stories.
What LBRY brings to the table is a censorship proof base layer protocol for media. This base layer protocol lets you interact with the LBRY network by creating an identity that can persist through platforms. Through blockchain technology, your identity, the media that you publish, the currency that you control and your followers are all maintained and persistent in the network through time.
What this effectively means is that literally anything can be published to the LBRY network and no government, corporate body or any other entity can prevent you from doing so. Furthermore, no one can take away any of the work that you put into building up this identity. Any content created or added to your channel which includes your personal details, finances, followers or most importantly, all of your media, is pinned to your account. This fact will end up becoming an extremely important and powerful focus later in the discussion about LBRY.
You can view the LBRY network similar to how you could view the Bitcoin core protocol. On the base layer of the Bitcoin network, hosting the full blockchain, you can interact with this network for literally any reason. You can transfer value on the Bitcoin network to any person, for any reason, for any amount of money, at any time and no corporation or government can censor your transactions. It's just an open sourced protocol that functions how it was coded to function.
However, the LBRY network's base protocol would be quite messy and unwieldy for a variety of users that would otherwise like to interact with this technology, no different to how most Bitcoin users don't tend to interact with a full Bitcoin blockchain either. Therefore, the major innovation to LBRY are the front-end implementations of the LBRY network. What this ultimately means is that censored front ends can develop around the LBRY protocol in any fashion that they wish to. And censorship in this context isn't necessarily bad. If someone wants to run a front end implementation that only depicted mainstream media content, or just showed cat videos, or even someone that wanted to run an 18+ porn website off of this technology, they all could do so. And, taking the cat video website by example, they could intentionally censor all videos that aren't of cats out of their website, which few people would find controversial in this context even though this is technically is a form of censorship.
The biggest front-end implementation of the LBRY network today is Odysee.com which is a direct competitor to YouTube. But the front-end implementations that could get created are fairly limitless in how they can interact with the LBRY network. One could create an Instagram styled platform or a Twitter styled platform and so on. Someone else could even come along and create a front end competitor to Odysee and compete on a whole variety of factors such as the user interface and experience, website performance, features, ethics/morals or any other determining feature that you could think of. Other front end implementations already exist for LBRY and we'll discuss the theory of these all in more depth later on in the article.
Important to note though, is that any front-end implementation of the LBRY network, Odysee or other, can censor any user for any reason, no different than Big Tech. Here in lies the major difference though: Your account and it's content is always preserved. You can always take your business to any other front-end implementation that has not censored you and you will always maintain your identity, followers, content and finances. And even if every front-end implementation of the LBRY network on the entire planet Earth has banned you for having an opinion, you could still always interact with the base LBRY protocol and continue posting your content there and your followers can also interact with you there as well. The true privacy and security maximalists may choose to use the LBRY protocol by default anyhow over convenient front-ends.
Having said all of that, it's worth noting that the team focused on the development of the LBRY protocol is as determined as ever. They are pushing commits to their Github on a very routine and steady basis, they continue to interact with the community with their ongoing roadmap intentions and are very well funded for several years to come – at a minimum – even assuming that no major profitability is achieved, which I would view as unlikely given it's current trajectory. It's also good to know that these developers are very passionate about the work that they do because they know that this is servicing to better humanity as a whole, rather than working for some meaningless Facebook-like corporate day job their employees could probably care less about. So from this perspective of base layer technology, you can only really expect things to improve with time for the foreseeable future.
Competition for LBRY – Good News
Conveniently, for the time being with the LBRY network, it gains the benefits of competition from both sides of the aisle.
Currently, and has been proven historically, it's tough to compete with the unique first-mover chains with the highest network effects. For Bitcoin, there were many attempts to compete with them through very minor innovations such as Litecoin or Monero. So far, the free market has not been too kind to these coins. And similarly with Ethereum, the swaths of competitors out there, most notably Solana, just do not attract the same level of interest and investment when competing for the exact same market share. That market share for Bitcoin being the store and transfer of value and the smart contract platform for Ethereum.
However, LBRY does not compete on those merits, making it unique in it's own right, allowing it to win alongside these other winning blockchains. Even hypothetically, Bitcoin or Ethereum do not possess the technology to incorporate LBRY's behavior in their present state even if they wanted to for a variety of reasons. And other chains simply do not have any technology, clout or legacy claims to compete with LBRY on these merits either, let alone LBRY's present network effects which have grown exponentially in recent history, more on this later.
Meanwhile, the LBRY network gets a huge benefit from competition via the free market on it's own platform. This is done with the front-end implementations that each have to compete with each other to provide the best possible service to their users. Unlike before, where Twitter, YouTube and others know that you are at the mercy of their platforms, the complete opposite is true for LBRY and it's front-end facing platforms. If any particular platform is behaving in a manner that you view as unethical or counterproductive, it's literally as simple as just taking your exact same log-in credentials and logging into another front-end implementation of the LBRY network and you can continue your social media usage as you wish while maintaining all of your data.
The mere threat of being able to exit one platform and enter another platform with near perfect efficiency will scare these platforms into giving their users the best possible user experience for fear of losing their clientele. This will force, for the first time in internet history, social media platforms to behave in a way that balances monetization and ethics with their user base. It will also force a form of free market competition in the space which can drive innovation to new lengths not seen before or felt before by Big Tech since the early 2000s which can lead to an explosion of unknown and super cool social media technology that is currently often only seen in cryptocurrency. For example, how smart contracts have led to DeFi and NFTs; breakthrough financial technology only possible through cryptocurrency because legacy banks were never going to offer this form of financial innovation and freedom to normal individuals.
Payment Protocols on LBRY
Because the LBRY network is just an open sourced protocol that can be interacted with in any way by front-end developers, the types of implementations that they can create are somewhat limitless and offer much more flexibility and optionality that don't presently exist on YouTube or other networks.
Currently, on the LBRY network, you can take your LBC (the native cryptocurrency to the LBRY network) to create content, boost your content, boost the content of others (a revokable deposit so you can reclaim your LBC at any time), tip other users, purchase content from others via encryption keys, natively subscribe to other users or even use it as the backbone to an advertising network where content creators, users, website hosts and advertisers can all benefit from such a program or even pay to opt-out of such a network for an guilt and ad free experience.
This can benefit the user in many ways. For instance, it can create a system that fosters a fee-free Patreon style of support from users to content creators native in the application without having to go to all these third parties and simultaneously dealing with the financial censorship plaguing those platforms as well. It could also compete, for example, with OnlyFans by allowing users to pay content creators to decrypt various forms of content from their favorite personalities. Alternatively, some users may view YouTube's preferential treatment towards advertisers or mainstream media platforms to be unfair and you can personally gain a boost by utilizing the LBRY network to your advantage with LBC by boosting content (a form of staking). While some may view this money-based system unfair, at least in this context on LBRY, you have some control over media visibility and you know the protocol rules of any open source platform, whereas in the former context with YouTube or other platforms, you have no control and are at the complete mercy of any one of Big Tech's unknown black box of rules. It's also highly debatable how “fair” the current YouTube system is where you can buy influence with standard fiat money anyway and how that would positively or negatively differ from the LBRY monetary system.
But very importantly, all of the above adaptations to LBC are mostly optional to an extent. A front-end website operator that uses LBRY for the backend can create a completely different user experience for the front-end depending on their objectives. For instance, they could base all of their payment protocols strictly in fiat currency or Bitcoin on the lightning network if they wished to. The users that contribute in these methods on the website would then benefit the most, as an alternative to LBC. Alternatively, some websites may want to create a very low skill barrier to entry website and control the user's private keys so that they are shielded from both blockchain complexity but also from phishing attacks and fraud, while other front-end developers could create more technical websites for users that like controlling their own private keys.
Meanwhile some front-end implementations may not like the idea of money dictating who gets higher levels of viewership on their websites. These developers could create content suggestions on some completely other metric outside of a money basis or LBC using some algorithm that they wish invent, and perhaps they could drive users to their platform on this merit as their unique selling proposition. The only time LBC is absolutely required is for the publishing of content to a user's page so that it's ownership can be added to the LBRY blockchain. So the backend of a website could manage all of the LBC payments to the LBRY network via miner fees while letting the front end interact with users in any which way, of which the possibilities are nearly limitless. The LBC payments would be one of the costs incurred by the website operators to the blockchain which they would have to make up through multiple possible monetization models which could include, but are not limited to the likes of advertising or taxing tips/subscriptions.
Moving away from the theoreticals of the LBRY network and onto a strictly personal level, personally being able to support and tip content creators through the LBRY network is extremely seamless and easy. If you enjoy a few videos from a random creator on YouTube, you probably have to just watch the videos and move on from there. Perhaps hit the like button or subscribe if you wanted to. Perhaps with your most favorite creators you can subscribe to their Patreon (assuming they even have one) if you really want to go through the hassle of dealing with this setup, but maybe you just never actually do this. But with LBRY, you can offer content boosts or tip payments to these creators in mere seconds since it's one of the backbones of the product in either case which I find extremely convenient and rewarding. If there's some fringe content creator, you can give them a few cents in payments in seconds to show your respects – something impossible on the YouTube platform. And this could be done through any front end implementation be that through LBC or Bitcoin on the lightning network or whatever cryptocurrency/fiat implementation that some motivated developers choose to create.
LBRY Usage & SEO
A major question that needs to be asked is whether or not anyone actually uses the LBRY network, how popular it is, how fast is it growing, how big could it become and these sorts of things. It's important to get a feel for just how fast things are progressing, how it is currently entrenching some serious network effects and how this could mean a lot moving forward.
Odysee is the biggest platform used for LBRY and is a good way to track sentiment on the LBRY network. Below is a graphic displaying the underlying SEO metrics for Odysee:
As you can see on the chart above, everything is on a steep path forward with no real signs of slowing down. It recently broke into the top 10,000 of websites on the internet. You can also see how much value is transferred to the site from it's organic keywords and net traffic as a result of that and the expected value from that traffic.
Meanwhile there are countless other cryptocurrency projects that have only a tiny fraction of this kind of SEO power or userbase with order(s) of magnitude more value in marketcap. Something isn't quite adding up from a fundamentals perspective, let alone a usability perspective.
On this second chart you can take a look at how traffic, keywords and traffic value has grown over time. Similar to the previous picture, everything here is fairly consistent in growth over time with no real visiblity showing any decline coming any time soon. It would be a fairly safe bet to presume these numbers to keep growing with time in terms of their overall SEO power and by extention, user growth.
Moving on, there are multiple ways that one could attempt to track LBRY's growth but because it is a blockchain network, you can actually monitor blockchain related statistics on the LBRY network that is most notoriously gathered by Lbrynomics:
Similar to the SEO charts, you can see consistent improvement in the growth patterns of the LBRY network over time with no real visibility in this type of technology slowing down any time soon.
And there are a number of other charts that could be shown demonstrating the growth patterns of the LBRY network but those are probably sufficient enough. The important thing to state is that the LBRY network currently has an estimated 50M users per month and is growing while simultaneously Big Tech is doing as much in it's power as possible to drive users away from their technology and into a platform like this.
LBRY's Technological Shortcomings
Interestingly, when I think about the problems with LBRY's technology, I end up in a very similar spot to 2013 when thinking about Bitcoin's problems. The problems aren't really problems, they are just the features of living in a free and optimized society that need to be dealt with in an intelligent fashion.
For instance, back in the early Bitcoin days a lot of the negative rhetoric around Bitcoin revolved around certain individuals saying that Bitcoin is useless and would only be used by criminals to buy drugs or launder money. Now that nearly a decade has passed, most of the informed segment of society knows this to be very much untrue and that there are multiple legitimate purposes to want to have access to censorship proof and an inflation proof store of value, among many other reasons.
Analogous to LBRY, are individuals that will argue that the LBRY network/protocol is bad because certain individuals may add what most people would consider objectively bad content to the network which could include the likes of child pornography, violence and calls to violence, among other nefarious things. And it's true, because LBRY is simply a protocol, no one can stop someone else from uploading objectively bad content to the LBRY network. But similar to Bitcoin and similar to living life in the real world, this is a consequence of living in a free world and it's best to deal with this problem in the most responsible manner possible than avoiding this otherwise great solution to the world's problem of information flow today.
The same way that it would be illegal to pay someone in either fiat cash or Bitcoin to murder someone, it may on rare occasion happen anyway, but it would also be illegal to upload a call to violence on the LBRY network. If an individual were caught doing this by law enforcement, they would face the repercussions of the law and jurisdiction where they reside. Meanwhile, as was stated earlier, the front-end implementations of the LBRY network would and could actively filter out this kind of content so that most users would never be exposed to this type of objectively bad material in the first place.
Just because a technology can be used for bad, doesn't mean that the technology itself is bad. This same mantra could be said about the internet or literally anything of that nature. It's overall net benefit to society is very much in the positive direction.
A second issue with the LBRY protocol is it's current network effects. As we've discussed previously, it's user base is very strong and growing rapidly. But it by no means has a stranglehold on the marketplace right now. And if a competitor were to enter the marketplace to compete on merit and it was strong enough, it could potentially overthrow LBRY rendering it useless like so many other tech products over the decades.
A third issue is that there are simply immature technology stacks within the LBRY network. There are many things that could in theory exist fairly easily on the LBRY network, for instance, an Instagram or TikTok implementation of the LBRY network, and yet, they do not exist. So while they do have robust platforms for publishing (like Medium), videos (like YouTube), and podcasting among others, there is a lot more front-end development needed on the LBRY network. Especially so to bring it up to par with the quality that Big Tech centralized platforms have made users come to expect.
With these two issues though (#2 & #3), I see similar arguments to the Bitcoin in 2013 type of thing happening yet again. Back then, Bitcoin was a very immature technology that just needed time to grow and for users to come on board to start mainstream institutional adoption. There's no reason this couldn't happen with LBRY as more users onboard to this technology for it simply being vastly superior to the underlying technology behind Big Tech's social media. And as LBRY technology matures, the demand for developers to create products and flood the market with capital would only flow in quite naturally and could very well propel itself forward once it reaches some theoretical tipping point.
There are a few more issues that I've identified that may make it difficult for LBRY to succeed. The first of these is that there is a pending lawsuit that LBRY is dealing with against the SEC. However, I think it is unlikely that anything bad can really come of this lawsuit since LBRY hasn't committed any crimes and it's of some opinion that the SEC doesn't really have a valid case against LBRY. If they rule against LBRY, it would be a landmark case that could ripple against all of crypto in a very serious way that isn't really worth exploring in this article other than to say that literally every cryptocurrency on Earth could also be labeled as a security.
There is also presently low liquidity in the exchanges that currently trade LBC making it difficult to buy or sell LBC. But again, if this technology matures, this should sort itself out and gain market exposure and liquidity over time. Odysee has also implemented ways to buy LBC with fiat currencies on their website as one example to lower the bar to entry to participate with the network. Furthermore, if the case with the SEC were to turn out favorably for LBRY, one can imagine that LBC would soon be added to many more cryptocurrency exchanges.
Personally though, the biggest overall threat that I currently view facing LBRY is Big Tech itself. I view them as an extremely serious threat to LBRY because unlike Bitcoin in 2013, LBRY is directly competing with Big Tech giving them immense incentive to try to annihilate LBRY's technology, if they even can at this point. Bitcoin, back in it's infancy was really at the time just competing with legacy banks and governments and had a relative innocuous market cap, so social media letting it persist didn't really cost them anything. Furthermore, censorship on the internet wasn't nearly at the same level in 2013 that it is at today during Bitcoin's come uppance. So Bitcoin and by proxy, all of cryptocurrency, squeaked on by in their hey day. But this isn't so much the case any more.
However, LBRY is directly competing with most forms of major social media out there today. And rightfully so when it's technology on the base protocol level is fundamentally superior to that being used by Big Tech. This gives multiple tech companies that are each some of the biggest companies in the entire world a lot of incentive to try to prevent LBRY from gaining a foothold in the market before it's too late. They could do this by banning LBRY products from the app store, throttling internet speeds to their services, shadow banning their content on their platforms and a whole host of other misinformation measures that they could potentially deploy at their disposal.
Personal Perspective on the Future of LBRY
There is going to be bias in favor of LBRY here, so take that into consideration before reading anything below. But I believe that similar to Bitcoin, there simply isn't a good case against LBRY. It's simply a dominating strategy against Big Tech. In almost any conceivable manner relative to Big Tech, LBRY provides a better, more democratic and more fair user experience. It allows users to control their own identity and content. It forces front-end website hosts to compete with each other and innovate. If things are allowed to continue in this direction, especially as Big Tech deteriorates while LBRY gains strength, it leads to only one outcome over time. No different than the Bitcoin game theory that is proving it's worth today.
And very conveniently here for the savvy investor, given that there is a massive demand for a product like this and a complete void in the market, there's an opportunity. And the scale of this opportunity is beyond massive under the best case scenarios. Similar to how Bitcoin is competing for money and Ethereum is competing with finance, LBRY aims to compete on identity and social media ownership. There are billions of users in this specific space and certainly a percentage of them are looking for answers and solutions to the currently broken system. Everyone uses social media all of the time. This isn't some fringe concept. This is something, similar to Bitcoin, that could capture an absolutely absurd audience given enough time and development if things work out well. It's even conceivable that social media's Big Tech will have to build their technology stacks themselves on LBRY off in the future if they are at risk of becoming obsolete under the most insane bull case scenarios.
As I stated earlier, LBRY can be whatever you want it to be. It's biggest implementation right now is Odysee. But this can mutate into a whole host of things and it could explode the way Ethereum did with Dapps, DeFi, NFTs and the rest of the FinTech innovations that haven't stopped to date. The same could happen for LBRY and it's social media presence if people take to it. The possibilities for the technology are fairly limitless and the ability for users to switch to new technologies would be seamless through identity persistence. It can scale in any direction from censored to uncensored. From user friendly to a control your own keys approach. From one particular app of Big Tech to some completely not yet invented app. Users would maintain the option to create new channels between or within different LBRY tech stacks or they could use a persistent identity across platforms giving them all of the power. Social media has undeniably been gaining steam in this direction of “Web3” user ownership and LBRY provides the ultimate vector to achieve that end. And if it were to claw at enough of the market share, the upside here could be enormous.
I think that the primary reason that LBRY hasn't been catching on historically is that it was a technology far ahead of it's time when it first came to be in 2015. In 2015, a lot of Big Tech's applications were by and large good enough for the average casual user. There weren't major divisive censorship issues or governmental issues back then like there are today. The internet seemed more like a free, open and democratic environment back then. But that has changed over time. Many people see, feel and even experience this through deplatforming and even self-censorship. As they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely. And that is no different than what we are presently seeing with Big Tech. The solution that I've identified, as a first (and only) of it's kind, is LBRY. And as that technology continues to develop and Big Tech continues to degrade, there's some writing on the wall as to the direction that things could end up going now that a market didn't exist for just a few short years back. It's also worth mentioning again that the SEC's case against LBRY has certainly also put a damper on it's growth meanwhile.
Similar to Bitcoin, how governments and companies have a kind of game theory incentive not to ban Bitcoin but rather to regulate it and harness it's energy at risk of losing a lot of companies, jobs, wealth creation, taxation and so forth and getting all of that wealth sent overseas, the same could apply to LBRY. If the LBRY network starts gaining traction in a big way, there could be a run on the technology. Every company would have to start devoting resources to LBRY in order to not get left behind. We're starting to see the very beginning of that with Bitcoin and Ethereum on a global scale with El Salvador and the Central African Republic taking it as legal tender and Tesla adding Bitcoin to their balance sheet. If things keep trending in that direction and if the bull case were to come true for LBRY, you could envision similar situations where Google and other companies have to start building on top of LBRY not because they want to, but because at some point it becomes one of their only options. Similar to a situation where if multiple countries have Bitcoin as legal tender, accepting it broadly soon becomes one of the only options as a company or government.
The tipping point to me (or inflection point if you prefer to call it that) for everything will mostly require a level of activation energy that is brought on by a lowering of the activation energy needed to cross over (accomplished through a continued awful and degrading user experience with Big Tech) and an increasingly positive experience with the LBRY network as the technology matures over time. LBRY is exploding in popularity and I can only see this trend continuing into the future. If and when a critical mass is hit, there could be some unstoppable force behind the LBRY network leading to an S-curve and explosion in adoption in an all of a sudden type of fashion.
I must point out that I do think all of the above processes will be years and years in the making. I do not view LBRY and LBC as a get rich quick scheme since the chance that all of the above happens in, for example one year, is slim to none. But, similar to how Bitcoin has gone on a spectacular growth cycle over the past decade, I could see LBRY/LBC making a similar run on everything if things play out as I've demonstrated in this article. And given the high and increasing demand for such technology and the complete absence of competition, it seems like a plausible story.
I want to end this article on the extremely non-technical analysis of the opinion that you are also helping to foster the betterment for human kind with LBRY (getting away from the just the technological merit of LBRY). When I was first investing and experimenting with Bitcoin in 2013, it was a profound experience for me. Because I felt that it not only was a potentially good way to invest and make money, but that I was also doing some serious good for the world at the same time by supporting a disruptive technology that was transformative for governments and banks – unlike my former poker career which was making me money but not necessarily transforming the world into a better place.
LBRY has for the first time since Bitcoin hit me in a way where I've had that similar type of feeling to Bitcoin. I feel that LBRY is really the world's first chance to fight back against a common enemy, which is Big Tech. By using the technology, creating content on there, consuming content, sharing content with your friends, developing on the platform, investing in the native currency or architecture all have dramatically large impacts on fighting back against Big Tech, which somewhat objectively produces a net good for all of society. Whereas any other action like simply leaving YouTube has virtually no effect in the current meta. So, this might not just be a profitable fight for you to consider, but also one where you can do a lot of social good along the way to help fight for proper equality.
How To Get Involved With LBRY
There are several ways you can get involved with the LBRY network either through development, your time or capital investment.
Purchase LBC, the native currency to the LBRY network. You can use your LBC that you hold to create a revokable content boost for either yourself or content creators that you wish to support along with tipping your favorite creators among many other previously stated use cases.
If you are a content creator, sync a cross post over to Odysee or other LBRY based platforms. It's both free and automatic and takes literally under one minute to set up. It will expand you to a wider audience, enable free additional monetization for you and help put additional pressure on Big Tech. Being early on in the ecosystem could also pay you dividends in the long run for a variety of reasons which could include more followers or higher early payouts.
If you are a developer looking to work/contribute, consider either working for LBRY or one of the front end platforms such as Odysee if they are hiring. It would always be nice to be able to work for a company that both pays well but is grounded behind a product of superior ethical quality.
Better yet, if you have an appetite for high work load, risk and reward, consider creating your own front-end implementation company of the LBRY network yourself (for instance, a TikTok skin). If you got in early and this became a dominant platform, you could be handsomely rewarded over time. However, this will be no easy feat and would require immense technical skill and intelligent direction.
Even if you are just a content consumer, try to use the major LBRY platforms that suit your tastes to divest your time away from Big Tech. The more time you spend on Odysee or the LBRY network, just by interacting with it, the more you will support the technology. You can even download a browser add-on to automatically switch your YouTube views over to Odysee when the content exists on Odysee.
Share best principles with your friends and family when asked. If people ever want suggestions for the best media to watch, suggest something related to the LBRY network, such as Odysee, or link people to videos you find interesting on Odysee itself rather than YouTube. And the same principle applies for any software out there. Always suggest platforms relating to free, fair and open sourced protocols whenever possible. We've covered such suggestions in the past that you can read about such as this multisegment guide here called Crypto Smarts starting on Part 1.
Disclaimer: This post is not financial advice and should be viewed for entertainment purposes only.