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The emergence of blockchain-based social media platforms
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The emergence of blockchain-based social media platforms

Social media has broken into our lives like a storm and swiftly occupied a major part of it. It is almost impossible to find an individual in countries with readily available Internet access, who has no relation to them. Social media have helped to build communication between people, especially those being away from each other or locked up (during a recent pandemic, for instance). Centralized social media are not as secure and private as users expected them to be, however, and blockchain is becoming more and more popular among those who work (especially building business) with social media.

What is called ‘blockchain social media’? These are decentralized platforms, utilizing smart contracts and applications, end-to-end encryption for all interactions and other techniques (such as In-platform transactions, crowdfunding or rewarding users). Moreover, blockchain-based social media platforms offer greater privacy and security and allow users to express themselves and make transactions privately without concern of unwanted disclosure.

Benefits and opportunities

What exactly can blockchain offer and change for the better in the field of social media? First of all, it is open-source code, which allows auditing data handling algorithms. Decentralization is another benefit, providing users with higher security and privacy (unlike centralized social media platforms, which are often involved in scandals concerning hacks and private data leakages). It prevents any single group of individuals, authority or company from taking control over the network. It also helps to adapt mechanisms of making decisions democratically without the risk of a network breaking into several forms in the process. Efficient implementation of AI (artificial intelligence) is another prospect which will help to make a great step to digital transformation.

What are the benefits for users? Let’s have a look at some, the most prominent ones:

  • Content saving. In centralized social media users do not completely control the data they are uploading there. It can be shared or deleted without their consent. Any data is under possible risk. Blockchain, in turn, has a decentralized solution for social media (the ‘Minds’ platform), where users control their data permanently and no one can alter or erase their data ever published. It also offers a solution called ‘permaweb’ where users can save and publish their content. Users can also delete previous activity traces if they wish to.
  • Rewarding. Content producers can lose money due to third-party intermediaries’ involvement on traditional social media platforms. Blockchain-based social media platforms offer such solutions as distribution, which provide users with improved capacity to profit from passive income. Users can be also rewarded for posting in their blogs on blockchain platforms.
  • Data storage. Distribution of data and decentralization raises security, transparency and efficiency of data storage solutions. Data can be stored independently in any part of the world and easily accessed by the owner at their request. The data is inaccessible and impossible to alter by anyone else.
  • Security and ethics. Unethical use of personal data is prevented in decentralized social networks as there is no central authority, which can take hold over this data. Cryptography protects interaction between users.
  • Freedom of expression. With no centralized control and local censorship rules (such as what company and private social networks have) users control by themselves what they can publish. Content moderation of traditional networks, which is a step back in efficiency and privacy, is also absent.


Blockchain-based social media analogues and competitors of traditional social networks (such as Signal (WhatsApp), Minds, Diaspora (Facebook), D.Tube, PeerTube (YouTube), Karma (Instagram), Aether (Reddit), Mastodon (Twitter), Memo, All.Me, SocialX, etc.) are already popular or gaining popularity among users. What are the blockchain-based social media platforms, which are worth paying attention to? Some of them are available right now, the others are about to go public. There are several of them, which top the rating. Let’s have a closer look at each.

  • Peepeth (since 2018, created by Bevan Barton). A decentralized microblogging social media platform, ‘Twitter’s twin-brother’. But they are not actually the same. Peepeth is Ethereum-based and it is now free (withholds a very modest Ether fee to participate and interact). The open-source smart contract has a front end available at the Peerpeth.com website. It helps to secure and hide user identity, offers transparency and interaction with contracts for decentralization. All users’ posts are stored on a blockchain. It is also ad-free and, which is new, any user can receive only one ‘like’-equivalent per day, which helps to foster more valuable content.
  • Sapien (since 2018). An Ethereum-based social news platform. Sapien is a friendly, highly adaptable and democratic environment. It rewards content creators and combats fake news. It issues its own SPN token, which users can stake and get tokenized rewards not only for post generating, but also for commenting and voting on other users’ posts. Due to its decentralized nature, users have full control over their data.
  • Steemit (since 2016. Since February 2020, owned by Tron). A platform for users’ content and community creation, which blends together blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and social media. It issues its own ‘STEEM’ token and is built on the Steem blockchain. The platform creates and cares about the content for Steem Power and Steem Dollars. The functionalities are somewhat similar to Facebook and Reddit. It distributes SMT (Smart Media Tokens) to content producers. According to Whitepaper, it is predicted to pass 6 transactions per second which is faster than Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is a highly attractive place for those who want to monetize their content. However, its rewarding system may be too complicated for new users.
  • Diaspora (since 2014). A blockchain-based twin-brother of Facebook. It comprises a set of pods (self-contained nodes).  It is immune to corporate takeovers and viral advertising. The users can follow hashtags as they do on traditional social media websites. Diaspora follows three basic principles, which are decentralization, the freedom to hide identity and security. Diaspora uses dispersed separately operated servers and no data is stored on a single server, which prevents centralized data controlling. All software is offered for free and the user chooses the way to connect by themselves. The users are not obliged to reveal their real identity or other personal sensitive information (such as a phone number). Moreover, it has a specific feature called ‘Aspect’, which allows users to distribute their data on their own choice and avoid passing their data rights to someone else while signing on.
  • Minds (since 2015. Created by Eron Wolf). Another blockchain-based twin-brother of popular social networks, combining features of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It is an open-source network, where users are rewarded for their activity. The network offers user-friendly mobile solutions. Anyone can contribute to its development, while there is no single authority which controls it. Minds are welcoming for any opinion or content. It issues ‘Minds’ tokens, which users can earn for expressing their opinions, and they even can get additional reward for a valuable link added to the post. Tokens can be used for content boosting or for profit as those tokens are returned as a reward, if the content seems interesting and important for readers.
  • Torum (since 2018). One of the youngest blockchain-based social media platforms. It operates on the Binance Smart chain and resembles both Twitter and Facebook, having features of both. Users can create gaming clan communities and company pages, which resemble the familiar LinkedIn, and add their team-members. It has an attractive design and is very user-friendly. Torum issues its own tokens, which users can not only get as a reward or spend, but also transfer to other users as a gift for their content quality. It is very fast growing and attracts a lot of crypto fans, allowing users to sell and purchase crypto-theme assets. It also organizes Air-drop events, where external projects can distribute their tokens.

Closing thoughts

What is the future of social media networks? Traditional ones are still popular and will keep their popularity for quite a while. However, they have a number of notorious drawbacks (such as the lack of security and privacy, censorship, data leaks). However futuristic it may seem now, blockchain-based social media platforms will take the audience over in the nearest future. They are still new and sometimes complicated, as the field is still unexplored for many, but their benefits attract and will attract more and more individuals, bloggers and independent newsmakers. 

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