September 21, 2021

BitClout creator raises $200 million to launch decentralized social network DeSo

BitClout creator raises $200 million to launch decentralized social network DeSo

Nadar Al Naji, known by his alias Diamondhands, the creator of BitClout, announced the launch of the blockchain project DeSo (short for Decentralized Social), according to The Block.

Previously, Al-Naji founded the Basis stabelcoin project. It shut down in 2018 due to regulatory difficulties, returning $133 million to investors.

Despite this, almost all of Basis' investors and other market participants supported the new project from Al Naji, investing a total of $200 million. Among them: Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Sequoia, Social Capital, TQ Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Polychain Capital, Pantera Capital, Arrington Capital, Blockchange Ventures, Distributed Global, Ventures, Hack Ventures and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

I think for most of them, it was not just about making money, but also about creating a better platform for public discussion, the BitClout creator shared.

According to him, centralized platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram control the conversations of users and profit from the content that they do not create themselves. The new project aims to make social networks monetizable and accessible to everyone.

DeSo will have the functionality of traditional social networks, including profile creation and post writing, as well as new features: social tokens, tips and NFT. A native DESO asset will be required to use the new platform.

According to Al Naji, the demand, and thus the coin's price, will depend on user activity:

As with Ethereum, the more open the DeSo network and the more applications built on it by independent developers, the more transactions go through its blockchain and the more expensive DESO becomes.

He noted that the DESO token used to be called CLOUT (BitClout), but was renamed with the launch of the new blockchain.

We created BitClout as an early prototype so that there was an opportunity to test it and leverage it on the DeSo blockchain before the public launch, Al Naji said.

He added that $200 million was raised through a token sale - more than 44,000 investors deposited bitcoins into the project's wallet to get DESO.

The tokensale lasted from November 2020 to July 11, 2021. The total offering was 10.8 million DESOs. 

The new nonprofit DeSo Foundation will direct funds to the project's ecosystem, supporting developers, creators of NFT and other content.

As a reminder, in March, some members of the crypto community suspected a BitClout marketplace of non-interchangeable tokens in a scam, calling it "Bitconnect 2.0." Shortly thereafter, Radar Relay's lawyers sent a warning letter to Nadar Al Naji, threatening him with legal action.

Jack Evans

About the author

I became a crypto asset owner in 2014, when the industry was in its infancy. Before that, I was working in the classic US and European stock markets. Since then, I have gained extensive experience in both cryptocurrency investing and day trading. I am happy to share with readers my experience with crypto exchanges, DeFi and NFT instruments. 

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