Startup Raises $20 Million to Build ‘YouTube on the Blockchain’


A new content creation startup is on the rise in Silicon Valley and it’s gearing up to take on YouTube. With its decentralized, collectively-owned video content distribution system, Lino aims to better compensate the content creators by cutting out the middleman.

It recently gained an ally in the form of prominent Chinese seed investor Zhenfund, which awarded them with $20 million during a private token sale. The company states on their official website how YouTube holds “enormous power” over the content creators and focuses on profit maximization, which potentially leads to conflict with the creators.

With this scenario, “The solution is to create a collectively owned, decentralized means of distribution, which ensures all content value is directly distributed to content creators and affiliated contributors without going through a privately owned entity as a middleman.”

Lino will be coming out with their own system currency, the LINO token, which will be earned by users through creating and sharing content. Further development of infrastructure and applications can also be expected from them on top of the blockchain. In this model therefore, both content creators and users who host content through nodes will be earning tokens.

“We believe in decentralized, peer-to-peer [content delivery networks (CDN)], but current projects seem not ready for stability and costs,” Lino’s website states. The LINO founders further believe that a decentralized CDN through auction system will enable them to achieve and maintain higher standard of content quality on the platform. The content’s value will also then be gauged upon the quality of human engagement with it, thereby preventing frauds and bots from interfering with the system.

In the auction system, users who provide more novel or interesting content will receive the reward over others. Transactions will be free of charge.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Lino chief executive Wilson Wei stated that he expected content creators to earn as much as three to five times what they usually earn on YouTube or other competitor sites like Twitch.

The project has yet to go live, but its launch later this year is highly anticipated, with Wei expressing confidence in the efficiency of its design. “The whole content economy is huge, but we believe in the decentralized organization concept. Why don’t we do it and starting the whole revolution starting with video content?” he said to TechCrunch.

Other companies developing posing as potential competitors with similar concepts include Flixxo, Stream, Streamspace, and Viuly.


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