Unless you live under a rock, you've heard about the recent wave of censorship from YouTube of various crypto content creators who use the popular legacy platform. While controversy still abounds as to the ultimate reasons for the censorship--ranging from coordinated reporting attacks by Telegram groups to new YouTube policies going into effect, to Craig Wright and BSV supporters going on a reporting spree against various crypto YouTubers--we can see that at least two of the more popular decentralized altnernatives to legacy video platforms have recently surged in price valuation.
Some have even suggested that the LBRY community itself could have been behind the wave of sudden YouTube strikes and censorship, as simultaneous to the surge in LBRY valuation, there were many crypto influencers on Twitter and elsewhere recommending LBRY as the best censorship resistant YouTube alternative. I myself had been recommending it to people in the weeks leading up to the valuation increase and YouTube censorship, but that's only because I had recently started using it to watch crypto and other content and was enjoying the change-up.
This morning I noticed another project I used to follow and be a fan of, BitTube, has also recently surged in valuation and trading volume as well. Is this an organic response among the crypto community as a reaction to the recent censorship by YouTube, despite YouTube largely reinstating everyone's videos, or is this a coordinated effort to stimulate trading volume by these projects? Or possibly a combination of the two? LBRY was also recently listed on CoinEx, an exchange with decent volume, so I imagine that had something to do with its over 300% increase over the past week or so.
I personally believe it's totally possible that these pumps are simply an organic expression of peoples' increasing awareness of their precarious relationship with legacy platforms like YouTube. I'd hate to think there was any shady behavior on the part of any decentralized alternatives.
In any case I will continue to personally use and support the use of decentralized alternatives. I used to be a fan of BitTube and even wrote articles about it a lot, but I have been sorely disappointed in their recent development efforts, most especially their revamped platform which I find so awful as to be unusable. The UI and UX are simply terrible and there have been no significant improvements since its launch this past summer. I still use its AirTime extension module, as it's free, doesn't get in the way of my browsing experience, and pays me a very small amount of free TUBE for leaving it on. I wrote this short article about it a while back, but my enthusiasm for it has obviously since waned. It was an interesting and novel concept for sure though.
Unless they significantly improve their platform I'm going to continue to use LBRY for all my daily crypto news and information, as well as other non crypto content, as there is plenty of that as well. My biggest critique of LBRY based on my four or so months of daily use, is that their viewer Rewards system could be slightly more generous so as to create a more robust ecosystem where creators are more likely to be tipped and have their paywalled content accessed. Right now you earn based on a sort of 'milestone' system, which can be quite a slow process especially if you're not a heavy user of the platform.
Something to note: LBRY is both a downloadable application, and a web based application. Unless you manually opt out, the desktop application will by default download any content you click to your hard drive. From the website:
Why is content downloaded to my PC even when I stream?
LBRY is a decentralized peer to peer protocol, meaning there are no centralized servers or a single entity storing all the files (like YouTube). Instead, data is stored on each participant's computer locally (similar to BitTorrent). When you stream or download, LBRY will store the content in encrypted chunks called blobs files and seed it to the entire network so others can also download from you. It will also store the completed file in your downloads folder. You can configure these storage options on the Settings page.
I'm wondering why they haven't chosen to pay users to stay opted in to this function. To me it makes perfect sense. It would provide users incentive to opt in to storage, and simultaneously creates a more robust ecosystem where the same users have more LBC to offer as tips and spend on paywalled content from creators.
What do you think? Are these platforms going to see yet more increase in value, or are these temporary pumps that will fade back into their previous valuations as the YouTube drama subsides? What are your favorite decentralized YouTube alternatives to use?
You can get BitTube's AirTime extension here to earn TUBE for browsing the web (also functions as ad blocker etc, read linked article above for more info). Click on Add BitTube to Chrome (will work on Brave as well)
Sign up for LBRY here. Earn tips as a creator, set paywalls, back-up your YouTube content with automatic uploads to LBRY. As a viewer, join the Rewards program to earn LBC for viewing. LBRY isn't just for video either. You can upload audio and even PDF documents as well.