The founder of Metacafe, Contact Networks and Bancor Protocol — the world’s first AMM — is launching a new groundbreaking venture built on insights and experience of how our consumer Internet has evolved over two decades. Nostalgically named after the Bulletin Board System from the early days of the Internet, BBS is a Reddit-type Message Board Network based on blockchain technology.
The Phantom Menace
The BBS Network is distributed, meaning that anyone can host their own content board on any site while still tagging, linking and commenting across every board, connecting them together to form a network that is greater than the sum of its parts. Each post on each board is essentially an NFT, stored indefinitely in a decentralized network, which can be created, bought and sold by users who want to earn revenue from the ad space sponsors buy on them. This adds a whole new dimension to various imperfect systems such as likes, upvotes, and other trend engines, and more importantly, creates vast monetization opportunities for creators and curators of original content as it gains popularity.
Given the censorship trends on the internet as of late, having a choice of provider and zero central control is almost hard to imagine, but this is exactly the more aligned vision that BBS is bringing to reality: Giving ownership, governance and monetization options back to the people who create value for networks.
The Last Jedi
The visionary behind BBS is Eyal Hertzog — a venture-backed technology entrepreneur for over 20 years. Mr. Hertzog is in the business of rewriting the Status Quo.
His popular video-sharing site — Metacafe — was at the time a fierce competitor to Youtube, but ultimately succumbed to its scale in a winner-takes-all market. While most people have heard of Bancor Protocol — the legendary first AMM in the world, which established DeFi and inspired the plethora of Decentralised Exchanges that we know today, the biggest of them being Uniswap.
With a background in the Israeli Intelligence Corps as an IT department manager, and a keen interest in psychology and philosophy, Eyal Hertzog continues to build products that strive to change a dissatisfactory “normal state of things” for the better.
For the past 18 months, Mr. Hertzog has been working on freeing Internet discourse from the shackles of undue authority. All the Twitter censorship, all the Youtube banning, all the exclusion and oppression inflicted on netizens by centralized monopolies will be behind us, if he succeeds in his quest.
With a powerful start through venture-investment platform DAO Maker and DCG’s Grayscale Fund managing over $1T in assets, he has a lot of wind in his sails. Soon, $DAO Holders will be able to access the BBS token through a Strong Holder Offering.
A New Hope
BBS is the answer to the perceived ever-increasing abuse of authority by popular public discourse channels and also to an inability of users to be compensated for their significant contributions to the wealth created by centralized Internet media companies. Mr. Herzog provides opportunities for income generation from content ownership, curation, and moderation on the BBS network. The man himself described it best:
“The modern BBS Network is similar to its 90’s era predecessor in that it is an online message-board service that is made of any number of independent providers — much like email — however, there is a striking difference. Every BBS in the BBS network uses a public blockchain database to store all critical information. This shift to public databases and global standards allows everyone to benefit from the innovation by integrating with and adding value to the ecosystem.”
All user accounts, posts, replies, reactions, revenues, are interoperable throughout the system, meaning that users can benefit from the network effect of all message boards combined, while still being able to set custom policies for communities, all while not needing to know a single thing about blockchain technology.
With BBS, the problem of monopolies (no choice) and their proclivity for censorship and extraction is solved. Each BBS is customizable in its own content and moderation policies and is governed democratically by the users who can also elect to change those policies.
The first BBS — starwarstheory.com — puts theory into practice. The popular YouTube Star Wars fan channel has 3M subscribers and is the first community to launch their own BBS. In this board, the more popular a Star Wars Theory is, the more it rises in value, as users outbid each other on a quest for legitimacy.
Fans of starwarstheory.com may be completely unaware that they are actually using a blockchain system, they are simply experiencing the income-generating and liberating advantages of BBS behind the scenes. Crucial for mainstream user adoption!
What can we say, when you hit the Internet, the Internet strikes back. May the 4th be with you!