File sharing site LimeWire is relaunched as a marketplace for indestructible tokens.
LimeWire, the defunct file sharing website, is set to make a comeback.
The service was controversial close In 2010, after a lengthy legal battle with the Recording Industry Association of America over allegations of music piracy. A federal judge found that the platform caused “widespread” copyright infringement.
In its heyday, LimeWire was one of the most popular peer-to-peer file sharing sites, allowing users to download music and other online content for free. The likes of LimeWire, BitTorrent, and Napster eventually succeeded with subscription-based streaming services like spotify And the Netflix.
In the more than a decade since it closed, LimeWire is making a comeback — but with a twist.
The service will be relaunched in May as a marketplace for trading non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, digital assets that maintain a record of ownership of virtual items on the blockchain.
Austrian brothers Julian and Paul Zeitmayer bought LimeWire’s intellectual property and other assets last year. They say they plan to bring back the platform since then.
The new LimeWire will focus on music, allowing users to buy and trade rare items such as limited editions, unreleased demos, and digital merchandise.
The platform will list prices in US dollars, rather than cryptocurrencies, and users will be able to purchase tokens using credit cards. Its payment functionality was developed in partnership with startup Wyre.
The company is adopting a more accessible approach to NFTs, as well as an advisory board including director of the Wu-Tang Clan rap group, Tareef Michael, to attract users.
“The problem with the NFT market is that most of the platforms are decentralized,” Julian Zeitmeier told CNBC. “If you look at bitcoin, all the exchanges make it really easy to buy, trade and sell bitcoin. Nobody is doing the same thing in the NFT space.”
“Obviously we’ve got this great mainstream brand that everyone is nostalgic for,” he added. “We thought we needed to build a real mainstream user experience as well.”
So far, the LimeWire revival has been funded with money that the Zehetmayrs raised through the sale of their previous projects. Their software company Apilayer, for example, was It was acquired by the American holding company Adera last year.
The brothers say they plan to raise additional capital by launching the LimeWire token, which will be initially sold to a few investors before a public sale later. The token will give its holders the ability to vote on changes to LimeWire’s policies as well as the artists on its music charts.
The Zhtemirs say they are also considering a venture capital funding round later this year.
NFTs took off in a big way in 2021, with token trading reaching billions of dollars. The market has attracted everyone from crypto enthusiasts to celebrities, with a popular group of digital collectibles called Bored Ape Yacht Club even appearing on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Proponents of NFTs say they solve a major problem with the modern Internet: the unfettered distribution of media on the web, and low compensation for artists and creators.
However, others criticize the speculative nature of NFTs, which are often bought with the intention of flipping them at a premium, as well as the number of scams in the space.
Julian said there are “a lot of similarities” between the NFT market today and LimeWire in the past, adding that both are “kind of a Wild West.”
“We try to be a more mature platform and make everything professional, just like Queen Piece Or other exchanges will do with crypto assets.”
LimeWire isn’t the first decentralized file-sharing service to make its way into the cryptocurrency world. The competing company was BitTorrent acquired Written by crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun, Tron in 2018.
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