Block.one is going to keep bots off its social media platform by checking the identity of every single user against a government ID, a source with direct knowledge of the product tells CoinDesk.
The company intends to have plenty of people to verify as well, the source said, with plans to spend aggressively on marketing. Block.one concluded a record $4 billion token sale in June 2018.
“What we’re aiming for is a truly self-sustaining economy of thoughts and ideas, where what’s good for the platform is good for the users, too,” CEO Brendan Blumer said at the announcement event for Voice on June 1 in Washington, D.C.
One of the main features of the new platform will be the certainty that everyone on it is real, Block.one said at Saturday’s unveiling.
Blumer told the room, “It’s never been more important to know that who we are interacting with and who we are getting information from is a real person who’s accountable for what they share.”
According to the source, Block.one is going to pay for identity verification on every single user, though the precise form those checks will take will vary by country. However, “It will require government IDs,” the source told CoinDesk.
This could be a major feature for Voice versus networks like Facebook and Twitter, which have each faced significant challenges with bots, disinformation and abuse.
With Voice, people “will realize how spammed out those other networks are,” the source said.
At the same time, however, identity checks could scare off users who prefer to maintain anonymity and the extremely privacy conscious, a group well represented in crypto.
At the launch event for Voice, Block.one cofounder and CTO Dan Larimer explained that the economy of Voice would be governed by the voice token.
“We believe everyone deserves a voice. This is why the voice token has the fairest distribution in the world,” Larimer said Saturday.
While the precise details vary with each jurisdiction, every Voice user will receive tokens every day, the source with knowledge of the situation told CoinDesk. People can use their voice tokens to elevate their messages, if they so choose. As voice tokens get used on the platform, some go to content creators and some will be burned.
In that way, as the token supply expands each day, it will also contract as users take advantage of the site’s features, moderating the overall supply. The source did not disclose how large the supply of voice tokens would be or whether the total pool would grow with the network over time.
The hardest fight for any new social media project is to reach a large number of users.
The source told CoinDesk that Voice should be very attractive for influencers, because not only will they be able to monetize their following as brands pay them to engage with their products, but that paid content may also see a significant response from their followers.
In other words, if users engage with paid content, influencers will get paid twice.
Block.one plans to engage in a very aggressive marketing campaign to get this message out there. The source told CoinDesk the company is “planning a robust marketing campaign” that will require making use of “a lot” of the company’s capital.
Voice launch event image by Brady Dale for CoinDesk