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72 Comments

I'm going all in on BitClout, I think it's great for Indie Hackers. AMA

A few weeks ago I heard about this new social media platform called BitClout.

Like everyone else I was a bit skeptical. Being an early adopter I signed up for an account anyway.

I wanted to take a look around and see what everyone was talking about.

After a very short amount of time I decided this was worth investing significant amounts of time into (and a small amount of money).

The potential that BitClout brings to the table for Indie Hackers is immense.

The opportunity to build applications of all sorts, on a new blockchain powered social network is there.

The opportunity for others to support your work is built in.

The opportunity to speculate on the success of others is there.

Certainly it's the Wild West and there are many pitfalls that could bring the experiment to a halt, but it's worth spending some of your time to explore the opportunity for yourself.

Read the BitClout Whitepaper
https://bitcloutwhitepaper.com/

Follow me: https://bitclout.com/u/mubashariqbal
and BitCloutFollow: https://bitclout.com/u/bitcloutfollow

AMA

  1. 18

    I'm saying this as someone who hasn't looked into BitClout much, but just am generally skeptical of new cryptocurrency projects due to rampant fraud and delusion in the ecosystem.

    I've looked at BitClout briefly and didn't really find it compelling. I used to follow Bitcoin closely, but I've mostly fallen off the past few years. A lot of the crypto + social platforms have always felt to me like they're destined to fail because they're designed by people who don't really understand what mainstream users find compelling. Like Steemit just seemed to fundamentally not understand how to get people to use the platform.

    That said, I don't have anything against BitClout, so I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

    What was it about BitClout that convinced you to invest?

    1. 5

      What got me excited about BitClout was the for many people using the platform don't know or care that it's running on a blockchain.

      This could become the first mass adoption of Crypto, not for Crypto's sake.

      The decentralized nature of what has been built, the social graph on a public blockchain has huge potential. This allows for people to build applications on top of the blockchain that can taps into an existing social graph, like they couldn't before.

      The investing/speculating stuff is also interesting and what has drawn people to BitClout, but longer term for BitClout to succeed it needs to be a robust social media platform for creators.

      Will it get there, who knows, but I think they have a good chance.

      1. 3

        Interesting, thanks for sharing, Mubs!

      2. 2

        What do you think about the name if it's going mainstream? BitClout sounds so technical?

        1. 1

          BitClout is the name of the Blockchain and related technology.

          BitClout.com is the first implementation of a site/app using that technology.

          As other people use that technology, they will be able to use whatever name they want for their own sites and maybe add "powered by BitClout" somewhere.

          Kinda the same as Coinbase. It's Coinbase and cryptocurrency, later on its all BitCoin and Ethereum.

          1. 1

            Cool thanks for clarifying, guess I have some catch up to do in that space :_)

      3. 1

        Hey @mubashariqbal, I wrote my first IH post about how I followed you in BitClout and what I learned in the process. Can you take some time please read it and vote in the poll below. Keep in mind that this is my first ever post. Thanks a lot!

        https://www.indiehackers.com/post/i-have-followed-mubashar-iqbal-to-bitclout-what-have-i-learned-so-far-2c1251c2f2

      4. 1

        I'm insanely skeptical about this.
        As far as I know, ethereum is pretty much all the above, and you know, like, popular and stuff.

        1. 1

          If it wasn't clear from other comments, I'm skeptical too 😀

          However, I can be skeptical and optimistic too (plan for the worst, hope for the best!).

          1. 1

            Sorry, after reading most of the other comments, I got that :)

  2. 5

    I personally think Bitclout is a huge scam and just posting these for peoples own thoughts.

    1. 2

      I don't know the origin of these statements so I can't tell what they are referring too.

      I'm sure they pre-mined some BitClout to fund/support the project, but they also mined BitClout for the 15K accounts they reserved for the top Twitter users.

      I don't know if it accounts for the difference here, but without more details we're all just guessing.

      I don't think it's a scam I look forward to finding out one way or the other.

      1. 3

        It’s a scam fwiw—this has been known in the community for sometime. It’s rather disappointing that IH is promoting such ponzi schemes on its surface of top articles.

        https://youtube.com/watch?v=SsERRF39YiM

        1. 1

          Nothing the video makes it a scam.

          You might not agree with their tactics, which is fine, but that doesn't mean it's a scam.

          Could it still fail, of course it could, but isn't that true of everything.

          1. 3

            Could it still fail, of course it could, but isn't that true of everything.

            Dude, they already made $200 million in bitcoins. It's a success already for them (we know not who)! It is only you or a portion of the remaining new users down the line who will lose everything.

            This is a classic pyramid scheme, aka a scam.

            1. 1

              That's your belief and you're entitled to it.

              We do know who they founders are, it's not a secret. We do know who the investors are it's not a secret. If it is a scam they are doing it very poorly.

              You're not willing to give it a shot, that's fine maybe I am the gullible one. I haven't bet my house on it, and neither should anyone else.

              I'm having fun while it lasts.

              1. 1

                Can you name the founders here please? This is important.

                1. 1

                  Decrypt's post covers all this stuff, since I don't have first hand knowledge I'll let their post speak for itself:
                  https://decrypt.co/62770/inside-bitclout-dystopian-social-network-big-investors-vocal-critics

  3. 5

    This is textbook scam. Yes some people will get rich, you might be one of them but it's a pump and dump scheme. a scam. no two ways about it.
    There have been many efforts and many social networks with their own scam coins since at least 5 years. They all trended to 0. Few people cashed out, others left holding the bag.
    ps: I'm long time bitcoin hodler and short every other similar scam coins.

    1. 2

      What makes you certain this is a scam besides the fact that other scams have existed before? Anything specific?

      1. 1

        Hey @csallen, I wrote my first ever IH post about how I followed @mubashariqbal in BitClout and what I learned in the process. Can you take some time please to read it and vote in the poll below? Keep in mind that this is my first ever post. Thanks a lot!

        https://www.indiehackers.com/post/i-have-followed-mubashar-iqbal-to-bitclout-what-have-i-learned-so-far-2c1251c2f2

    2. 1

      Previous "scam" coins were literally nothing but a ERC20 smart contract with a promise to change the world. I got burned by a couple myself 😞

      They fact that we have a working website, working blockchain, and massive engagement from people all over the world using those things make me hopeful it's not a scam.

      Could it be a scam yeah it's possible to fool lots of people into doing things, but do I think it's a scam nope. Even if it's not a scam it could still trend to 0, but I'll have fun riding it all the way down! 🤣

  4. 5

    How much money are you putting in?

    I'm taking $5,000 out of stocks and investing it into BitClout to play around with, which is an amount I'm comfortable losing if it all goes belly up. A friend of mine invested $100,000… 😬

    1. 5

      I've put in less than a $1K, as others have said, treat this like casino money.

      How much would you take to Vegas and be comfortable losing?

      If this works out, that $1K investment I've made is already worth (on paper) close to $40K, we'll see if lasts and is real 🤣 Why am I sharing that? It's public information on the blockchain!

      I've made the majority of my gains by investing in myself, not speculating on others, which I feel is much less risky and much more rewarding for the long run.

    2. 2

      You have rich friends :)

  5. 5

    Do you think they'll allow people to withdraw funds any time soon? It makes sense for them not to for a while, so prices keep going up, and the platform can grow and generate excitement. But I worry how long "a while" will last…

    1. 1

      Nothing official has been announced but we've heard this could be a matter of weeks away.

      Unofficially, there are two community projects that will launch within a few days that will allow you to convert your BitClout to ETH and BTC, haven't tried these and they will need to be vetted, but sound very promising.
      https://bitswap.network/
      and https://withdrawbitclout.com/

      Additionally, people have already been extracting funds using OTC transactions, albeit at significantly discounts.

      1. 2

        When you'll able to withdraw we'll see a MASSIVE flux of people :D

      2. 1

        This comment was deleted a month ago.

        1. 2

          Not sure why you think the architecture is the opposite here. Literally everything that happens on BitClout is stored on the BlockChain and you can explore all the transactions and see exactly which account carried out each action. Just like with BitCoin, you may not know the real identity of the people behind those accounts, but the actions themselves are there for everyone to see.

          The concerns are valid. But for every Mt. Gox, there is a Coinbase or a Binance.

          Cautiously optimistic is good way to treat this new platform.

          This is why I've only committed a (for me) small sum of money to it. If I never saw my $1K again that would not hurt me financially. I don't expect to able to take my money out of the platform for a while (maybe years, if at all) and I'm ok with that. You may not be and that's cool too.

  6. 3

    I try again and again to jump into crypto related stuff (even launched my own coin on Ethereum some time ago), and I own about $20K worth of various coins, but I can't get over the fact that it all always has this get-rich-quick vibe about it. It's like crypto is now what online poker was some time ago. (Except that people generally know much more about poker than they know about the software driving coins.) So I'll pass for now on BitClout and maybe come back later when it has gained some traction.

    1. 1

      That a great attitude. I know plenty of people that passed (me included) very early on in BitCoin, it didn't make sense at the time, but came back to it later when it did make sense.

      For me though, with no monetary investment (just by verifying your phone number), you can get on the platform and start building up your profile on it.

      If BitClout does get traction, then having an early profile will be of a huge advantage. Yes it takes a time investment to do that, and for me it makes a lot of sense to spend that time on BitClout instead of Twitter and other social media platforms.

      The core benefit of BitClout for me is the decentralized social media platform, and that is what excites me most about it. Most people using it won't care that's is "crypto".

    2. 1

      This comment was deleted a month ago.

  7. 3

    How did you turn your $1K investment into $40K?

    1. 1

      As I mentioned its all paper gains at this point, and we'll see if it holds.

      Most of my gains have come from buying my personal coin and the coin of the BitCloutFollow early. The price of the coins at the beginning is very low, as the more people buy the coin, the price goes up and so does the value of your holdings.

      The key is to provide value with your accounts, to ensure that more people are looking to buy your coin, which pushes the price up higher.

      Combined more that 200 people are holding some of my coins.

      I've done a little bit of speculating, buying new accounts which then appreciate in value, but trying to stay away from doing this too much. 🤣

  8. 2

    You've convinced me. I've made an account: https://bitclout.com/u/yangp10

  9. 2

    Bitclout is definitely worth looking at. If it a scam or not only time will tell. But the idea is interesting.

    I have written an article simplifying BitClout and the pros and cons.

    https://thecoincept.com/what-is-bitclout-should-you-join/

    1. 1

      Nice thanks for sharing.

  10. 2

    First, I'd like to clarify that it's not a scam. It's backed by too many well known funds. If it does do something like a pump and dump, and everything goes to zero, then all the firms will suffer a ton of reputational damage which isn't good for any of them long term. Also, the founder isn't some rando looking to scam everyone.

    As to why I'm not bullish?

    1. All of the functionality is the exact copy of Twitter except for this crypto twist.
    2. It doesn't really give the tools for creators to engage with their coin hodlers.
    3. How is it acceptable for the dev team to keep 180M worth of BitClout? Seems a bit over the edge to me.

    I suppose 1&2 can change. Let's see how things turn out.

    1. 1

      All valid points.

      I keeping having to remind myself that this is very early, I'd say it's alpha level release territory. There is still a lot of work to be done.

      Now is a great time for makers/hackers to jump in and start building all the things that are missing from the platform. Doing so could be very rewarding.

      The core is pretty solid now, but there are lot of things missing, but in this case anyone can build tools for the platform. We're don't need to wait on permission.

  11. 2

    Anything I see that mentions the blockchain or crypto is nothing more than a trendy investment. People want a place to put their money and the lure of incredible returns is all that matters. Whether it's a good investment or not is a separate conversation.

    If blockchains were anything more than a marketing scheme, they wouldn't be mentioned anywhere. The consumer doesn't care what powers the product they use, they just care that it works.

    1. 1

      I agree blockchain/crypto has been a problem in search of a solution, and it may just have found one.

      There have been many get rich schemes out there, and yes some are pitching BitClout as that too.

      I've done my research am optimistic that this isn't a scam, isn't a get rich quick scheme. If you do your research and decide otherwise, fair enough. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

  12. 2

    I am staying far away from this one.

  13. 2
    1. If it’s “open source” as the white paper says, where is the code?

    2. Are the investors are actually share holders, or did they just buy the pre-coin sale, thus keeping them out of legal liability? And why are they not putting BitClout on their portfolio pages?

    3. Why back an an org that uses people's identities for marketing without permission?

    4. The paper states that "profiles" buy back coins. Interesting choice of words. And the TOS says you give up your BTC with no warranties to ever monetize. Most people don't read the TOS, and you can't search for it or index the site for it. Why hide it?

    5. You can create and post as other people, essentially using an extortion model to bring people in.

    BitClout is the Fyre festival of the crypto world.

    1. 1

      If it’s “open source” as the white paper says, where is the code?

      It's coming, yeah I know we've heard that before, but the project has been live for a month.

      I'm ok with waiting to get this.

      Are the investors are actually share holders, or did they just buy the pre-coin sale, thus keeping them out of legal liability? And why are they not putting BitClout on their portfolio pages?

      Some of the investors have stated publicly on podcasts, clubhouse etc, that they invested.

      I can't speak to why they aren't listing it on their websites.

      Why back an an org that uses people's identities for marketing without permission?

      The platform allows users to speculate on peoples reputation, people will speculate on those public figures.

      Does the media ask for permission before discussing using public figures?

      They used publicly available content. I guess I don't have an issue with what they did here.

      The paper states that "profiles" buy back coins. Interesting choice of words. And the TOS says you give up your BTC with no warranties to ever monetize. Most people don't read the TOS, and you can't search for it or index the site for it. Why hide it?

      Most of this stuff in the whitepaper, which I'm assuming most didn't read either.

      It's a fair point and one of the many reasons I've said consider this play money, that you could very well never get back.

      You can create and post as other people, essentially using an extortion model to bring people in.

      This is a problem on any platform, not unique to BitClout.

      Yes people should use caution looking at coins of unverified users, to ensure they are actually speculating on the people they think they are.

      BitClout is the Fyre festival of the crypto world.

      Maybe, but maybe it's Burning Man, who knows. I'm glad to be able to find out.

  14. 2

    Tried it for a few days. Don't really see the value. The content level is poor on the platform.
    A bunch of people trying to get people to buy their coin.

    It will work for some people who will use it like Patreon - buy their coin and they'll let you into their club.

    1. 1

      Oh definitely, very early days, public for less than a month, people are still working out what to do there.

      Great time to build tools and lock in value, stuff we Indie Hackers do really well!

  15. 2

    Ok, you convinced me. I'll give it a try → https://bitclout.com/u/xvrc

      1. 1

        This comment was deleted a month ago.

        1. 1

          cross post

          I do cross post some of my content, not everything. It's manual right now, but people are working tools to make that easier.

          Right I'm doing the build in public thing on BitClout instead of Twitter, but focused on BitClout tools 😀

          Lost of people are joining BitClout everyday, it's a great time to put a claim on your turf, post what you want to share and I think the audience is there in most topics already and will continue to grow.

          verification

          Getting verified is easy if you're verified on other platforms (not just Twitter).

          Good post about it here:
          https://bitclout.com/posts/4e654f73d56ee47d497b1847eb41e705b3c4492568621063b168775dfd0a4b45

  16. 2

    Thanks for doing this! And btw,I feel totally out of the loop, but how do you buy BitClout? I tried doing it but it seems I can only do it with Bitcoin? (sorry, totally newbie here).

    Also, you mentioned in another comment that your strategy has been "investing in yourself", so you mean you buy your own coin and bet on your own persona skyrocketing? Mind elaborating on that?

    1. 1

      how do you buy

      Yes you currently need BitCoin to buy BitClout.

      Once you create a BitClout account, you see the option to Buy BitClout in the menu, you'll been shown your public Bitcoin address.

      Transfer Bitcoin to that address (I transferred mine from Coinbase), and then you can use that BitCoin to buy BitClout.

      You can then use BitClout to buy the coins of the Creators you wish to back.

      investing in yourself

      The creator coin can be used to speculate on the "reputation" or success of Creators.

      I've already built a project for BitClout community, and so people are buying my coin because they see me adding value to the platform.

      They are doing this to support me (the founder reward I get), and because they are probably speculating that my coin price will continue to go up for a while and they will make a profit.

      When you first signup, it is recommended that you buy some of your own coin, which will cost very little initially.

      As you gain a following on BitClout (and they purchase your coin) those coins you purchased should appreciate in value.

      If you already have a following on other platforms (YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc), this happens pretty quickly.

      1. 1

        In another comment you said many people using BitClout don't know or care that it's using the Blockchain.

        The front page says "The Crypto Social Network", and your entire comment revolves around owning Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. What am I missing here?

        1. 1

          Just because it says something on the landing doesn't mean anyone actually cares. That was probably helpful text when pitching to investors, for the average user, whatever.

          If you want to add more funds then yes need BitCoin to get , but if you verify your phone number and just use the social network then no, you don't need any BitCoin at all.

          Why BitClout is interesting to me as maker, is very different for the average person using a new social media platform. Decentralized blockchain is very cool to me, most other users not much.

  17. 2

    Are you offering any perks to your coin holders?

    I asked this question of my own holders the other day, and I'm curious if any norms or expectations will develop around being invested in.

    1. 1

      On my personal coin there are no perks (yet).

      For BitCloutFollow the holders of the coin get different treatment when they are displayed on the website, so there is an incentive to hold the coin.

      I'm also prioritizing reviewing the submissions of those that hold some amount of the creator coin, so the perks are a natural part of the project.

      Other people are starting to publish content just for coin holders, others are doing weekly zoom calls with their top coin holders, and I'm sure there will be other perks in the coming days and weeks.

      1. 1

        As soon as you can withdraw the coin you can see it as a way to get funding or a Patreon alternative no?

        That's super interesting!

        Thanks a LOT for this post @mubashariqbal@csallen you made me started :)

        1. 1

          Yes lots of ways this can be used to support creators.

          Some people are already building tools to make that easier, sending messages to just those hold your coin etc.

    2. 0

      Hey @channingallen, I wrote my first ever IH post about how I followed @mubashariqbal in BitClout and what I learned in the process. Can you take some time please to read it and vote in the poll below? Keep in mind that this is my first ever post. Thanks a lot!

      https://www.indiehackers.com/post/i-have-followed-mubashar-iqbal-to-bitclout-what-have-i-learned-so-far-2c1251c2f2

  18. 1

    Are you worried that the decentralized nature will lure in a bunch of bad actors (i.e. nazis/alt-right/Trump)?

    1. 1

      Definitely something to keep in mind.

      Ultimately bitclout.com is a proof of concept, the first of many interfaces to the BitClout blockchain. In the future there will be many different websites/applications that allow you to connect to the blockchain.

      Each of those applications will have their own rules and restrictions, about what is acceptable. Moving between them will be easy and your content and your social graph will go with you.

  19. 1

    Can someone explain to me why trading directly in people (via crypto) is ok while trading in people a few hundred years ago was not ok? What changed?

    1. 4

      Because it's not "directly" in people. It's indirect. Trading a coin that represents somebody's values is completely different than trading that actual person and stripping them of their freedom lol

      1. 1

        @csallen with all due respect, I’m not convinced

    2. 1

      I'm guessing you're referring to slavery, so yeah it's very different buying and selling people vs supporting them by buying their Creator coins.

      One is ownership, the other is speculating that they will do great things and you can both benefit.

      1. 1

        Who controls the relationship though?

        Perhaps they don’t have official certified ownership (whatever that is), but that doesn’t matter if you can’t turn off the relationship, the people trading you have effective control (or potentially could) of you.

        @csallen

        1. 1

          Why do they have control over you? What can they make you do?

          You are in total control. You are under no obligation to do anything for people that buy the Creator coins. It's entirely voluntary. Many of the most valuable coins on BitClout are for people that have never logged into BitClout.

          You may want to do something because it encourages people to hold your coin, but that is entirely your decision.

          I give NO PERKS for people holding my coin. I'm just active on the platform sharing content like I would on any other social media platform.

          1. 1

            You’re not thinking laterally enough. There are a million and one ways people can exert control over others.

            Unless there is 100% guarantied anonymity, IMO these personal coins are dangerous. In an extreme case you could imagine somebody being worth more dead than alive.

            If that can happen, then any number of other less extreme examples could be imagined, but for obvious reasons, it’s not useful discussing them.

  20. 1

    This comment was deleted a month ago.

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