BitClout is a social cryptocurrency marketplace created by an anonymous group of developers which lets users buy and sell NFTs (non-fungible tokens) called "creator coins" based on the reputations of real people. This blockchain platform is based on the concept of "social clout" as a tradable asset, as opposed to the shares of a company or commodity.
The BitClout cryptocurrency (BTCLT) can be purchased with Bitcoin by anyone through the platform's decentralized atomic swap system. For every million BTCLT sold, the currency doubles in price, making it naturally scarce. The maximum supply of BTCLT is estimated at 10 to 19 million, as compared to Bitcoin's 21 million. BitClout sources its profiles directly from Twitter without the consent of the Twitter accounts' owners.
At launch there was no option to convert BTCLT to a different currency, but the project's founder has promised to make this possible in the future.
BitClout features a profile reservation system which allows new users to claim preexisting profiles through Twitter. These reserved profiles may have accumulated a certain value of creator coins in the claimant's absence. A percentage of the currency is inherited by the owner of the Twitter account associated with the BitClout profile when they claim it.
BitClout first launched with 15,000 accounts of the most popular Twitter users pre-loaded into the platform, such as Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Barrack Obama, Justin Bieber, Chamath Palihapitiya and more, without the users' permission.
Due to BitClout's controversial reputation-based model, the platform has garnered many adverse reactions, with some commenters suggesting that BitClout is a fraudulent scheme. BitClout's critics have expressed concerns over how it may potentially incentivize short selling and traducing of the token's representatives' reputations, as one blockchain researcher had pointed out.
Much of the negative reception is also centered around potential problems stemming from BitClout's lack of defined legal liability. Twitter user Lindsay X. Lin commented, "Without a corporate entity that limits their liability, each founder/collaborator could ... be subject to unlimited personal liability."
On March 23, 2021 the law firm Anderson Kill P.C. sent a cease-and-desist letter to BitClout's founder, identified as Nader Al-Naji, on behalf of Brandon Curtis, who had objected to his likeness being used by the platform without his consent. The letter cites sections 3344 and 1798 of California Civil Code, which protect an individual's right to not have their identity be exploited for monetary gain unless consented to, as well as their right to privacy, respectively.
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