June 2016 was marked by the arrival of a new digital coin, LBRY Credits (LBC), a financial tool within the framework of the platform of the same name. The project is an independent decentralized application where users can publish, actively exchange, and sell their final product of creativity. These include paintings, literature (novels, short stories, etc.), films or videos, photographic materials, and other digital content.
In this article, we will analyze in detail what the project is, what innovations it brings, how it differs from its competitors, and whether it has any prospects.
What Is LBRY?
LBRY is a new way to publish content. Often the project is called a decentralized alternative to YouTube, without censorship and centralization. The digital marketplace LBRY will be controlled by the participants, not by a corporation or a third party. Its attractiveness is enhanced by an incentive program designed to attract customers.
Technically speaking, LBRY is a protocol like HTTP, FTP, or BitTorrent. But you can’t just get a protocol. It also needs a browser, so LBRY has both a protocol and a client.
The platform creator, Jeremy Kaufman, was asked in an interview: “Why not just use BitTorrent or even FTP? What distinguishes LBRY?”. Kaufman answered that BitTorrent is a wonderful technology, and the LBRY project was inspired by it. But BitTorrent also has some drawbacks. The three biggest ones are:
- Decentralization without structuring. It is difficult for the user to find the content they are interested in on BitTorrent due to the lack of a structured content catalog.
- Problems with legislation. LBRY encourages the legitimate use of the platform by implementing a loyalty program.
- Lack of incentive. BitTorrent is a good place to host popular content, but you won’t find something unique. LBRY provides various bonuses for publishing highly specialized and one-of-a-kind content.
Thus, it is possible to highlight the problems that LBRY solves:
- Creating a content catalog to facilitate the search for interesting materials.
- Legitimization of content on the platform for legal sharing.
- Stimulating content creation through an internal coin.
- Increasing the level of decentralization to ensure the security of published content.
How Does LBRY Work?
With LBRY, users can create and share content, such as music, movies, photos, video blogs, streams, etc. In uploading content to the platform, the user can choose and charge for access to it or not. Unlike, for example, YouTube, the authors themselves set any price for access to their content or distribute it for free and without advertising. In addition, other platform users can support content creators by sending them a certain amount of LBC.
Thus LBRY has three key features:
- If desired, the person who publishes the content can charge the users who view it.
- Decentralization and distribution. The content published in LBRY is not stored on a single computer or network, which makes LBRY more crash-proof.
- Freedom. None of the parties, except the publisher, can unilaterally delete or block content on the LBRY network. Similar services require you to trust them and can unilaterally change the rules. YouTube or Amazon may block the video, and Apple may not publish the content because, for example, the prime minister of a country was offended by a comedy.
Consider a simple example to understand better how the platform functions. For example, Bob wants to release a video on LBRY, which Alice will later buy and watch.
- Bob wants to release a video called “Humanity is an alien project.”
- The content of the video is encrypted and cut into many slices stored by the hosts.
- Bob reserves the lbry://bobfilm address pointing to his content.
- When reserving an address, Bob provides metadata such as a description and preview. In addition, Bob decides to set a per-view price of $0.5.
- Alice surfs LBRY searching for interesting content and stumbles upon Bob’s video.
- Alice sends $0.5 to Bob and receives the decryption key for viewing the video.
- Alice’s LBRY client downloads the slices from the hosts and assembles them into a single whole, using the key to decrypt the fragments.
- Bob receives the total amount paid by Alice, and she gets the video immediately after payment.
The LBRY team set a goal to make a worthy competition and overtake the centralized platforms of Netflix, which sells cinematic content to everyone (TV series, movies, etc.), YouTube, iTunes, and other media stores. The following advantages of LBRY support the prospects of the business plan announced by the developers:
- Within the network, no commission is charged directly from unique content creators.
- The content creators regulate the cost of the posted audio or video material. The owners, in general, can offer their content free of charge.
- The range is already much broader today than in the same Netflix since the platform is publicly available. In addition, access to independent media is open here — the licensing problem has been solved.
- There are no ads. There is no need to subscribe.
- Payment is made with fiat (traditional) money and in-system LBC cryptocurrency.
- There is no control by government agencies. As a result, there is no censorship.
With such obvious advantages, LBRY can throw off the giants of the media market from the leading positions in the industry.
The LBC token is a native token of the LBRY platform and acts as a unit of exchange. The maximum supply of LBC is 1 billion tokens, which will be mined within 20 years. At the time of writing, more than 650 million LBCs are in circulation. The distribution of coins is as follows:
- 10% is allocated to organizations, advisors, and other strategic partners who contribute to the fight for digital rights and free Internet.
- 20% is distributed as a loyalty program to encourage users to participate in the project.
- 10% goes to the project team for various operational costs and profits.
- 60% is sent to LBRY users who mine LBC.
LBRY is a stable decentralized content exchange platform with competitive advantages: decentralization, structurality, fair distribution, and others. As a result, the project has great value among users and content creators. In addition, reputable publications such as Forbes, Nasdaq, The New York Times, and others also note the project’s prospects.