Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun’s decentralized peer-to-peer filesharing network BitTorrent has bought DLive, the blockchain-based livestreaming home of world No. 2 YouTuber PewDiePie.
Sun announced on Dec. 30 that DLive will begin to migrate from its own Lino blockchain onto the Tron blockchain. DLive will also adopt the BitTorrent Token (BTT) in place of its existing cryptocurrency, the lemon token.
Lemon tokens have a flat $0.012 value on DLive. At press time, BTT was worth $0.000286, according to Messari.
“DLive is a great solution for live media producers,” said BitTorrent CEO Sun, in a Medium statement. “Think of how valuable live streaming content is already to centralized social media platforms who take ownership and advantage of their users’ hard work. We look forward to DLive bringing value to the entire world with the addition of Tron and BitTorrent’s global community of passionate creators.”
DLive CEO Charles Wayn said “DLive’s goal of empowering creators and rewarding communities is one step closer with the amplification of this new venture.”
PewDiePie pays off
DLive scored a big coup in April when it lured controversial but hugely popular YouTuber PewDiePie, also known as Felix Kjellberg, onto its platform. With 102 million YouTube followers, the Swede is one of the Internet’s best-known personalities.
But his own brushes with anti-Semitic and racist content and comments cost him a number of advertisers in 2017. And in March 2019, Kjellberg said he was “sickened” when he was praised during the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shooter’s livestreamed killing spree.
Kjellberg now livestreams exclusively on DLive. He is by far its biggest draw, with 690,000 followers.
One of the things that Kjellberg said drew him to DLive was that it did not take any cut of content creators’ income. Less than 10% of the lemon earned go into a fund for people who locked down lemon tokens for the DLive blockchain proof-of-stake system.
After the YouTube Purge
The DLive acquisition comes just days after many cryptocurrency video sites suffered YouTube takedowns over Christmas. While short lived, the purge led to many calls to bring cryptocurrency content to decentralized platforms.
“[T]his is a wake-up call to the crypto community to really see the value of decentralizing the web,” said Chris Dunn, whose Chris Dunn TV channel was hit on Dec. 23. “YouTube has shown us in recent times—and not just on crypto channels but many other niches—that this is not a place for open and free thought.”
Binance cryptocurrency exchange CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao called the incident “a short term setback but probably good in the long term,” on Twitter. “Will let new platforms emerge with better freedom. People will create content and post them elsewhere.”