One of the oldest and most popular social networking platforms in China is launching its own crypto token in an apparent bid to boost declining user activity.
Tianya Club, an internet forum founded in 1999, announced on Wednesday it will launch the blockchain-based Tianyan Token (TYT) on Aug. 8 as a way to reward original content contributions and participation in community activities. It will also serve as a means of exchange and payments.
With a hard-cap of 90 billion tokens to be created, Tianya said 20 percent of the total will be reserved for its operational teams, while the remaining 80 percent will be distributed to community members.
So far, Tianya has not disclosed what platform its blockchain is built on, nor is it clear if TYTs will be subsequently tradeable on third-party exchanges or how its value will be determined.
Today's launch also appears to be boosting the firm's non-blockchain token – Tianya Diamond –which was launched by the firm in late 2017, just a few months after China explicitly banned companies from soliciting Chinese residents over blockchain-related tokens.
According to today's announcement, only users who hold a certain amount of Tianya Diamonds can receive TYT tokens by participating in certain community activities such as moderating threads.
Tianya Diamond was revealed in December as a centrally issued utility token for collectibles and gifting, with the firm promising "more use cases in the future." With a hard-cap of 900 million, Tianya Diamond can be purchased using Chinese yuan on WeChat.
For users who hope to earn TYTs by contributing original content, the total of any reward depends on the numbers votes received from other users who hold TYTs.
The move appears to be an attempt by the internet forum to revitalize its community after a decline in profits amid decreasing popularity.
According to data traffic site Alexa, Tianya Club's site ranking has dropped from China's 11th most visited website in 2015 to the 24th currently, likely due to competition from other social networks including search giant Baidu's rival service, Baidu Tieba.
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