Block.one, the developer of EOSIO, an open-sourced blockchain software, has decided to close its decentralized social media platform Voice to the public for several months to upgrade it from a fungible to a non-fungible token (NFT)-based social platform, the company said.
Voice’s website currently says it is “an NFT platform for emerging creators” slated for Summer 2021.
“By tokenizing the content itself, instead of putting tokens next to the content, we are giving creators the opportunity to monetize their work directly,” the statement said.
Explaining the reasons behind its latest NFT-oriented move, Block.one pointed to the company’s regulatory woes, saying they have “set out optimistically to work with regulators in the US to gain approval for our fungible and transferable Voice Token.”
Then they added that they do not “have an end in sight yet,” saying that “after more than 18 months of close engagement with regulators, we do not have an end in sight yet. The change of administrations has introduced further uncertainty. Recent actions by the SEC indicate a long road ahead.”
Block.one claims it remains dedicated to building on EOS mainnet, but it cannot do so at present for three reasons:
- the New York State Department of Financial Services does not permit EOS, amongst other tokens, to be traded in New York state;
- the proprietary file storage system requires buy-in from major block producers that the team cannot guarantee;
- Block.one’s NFT protocol, built on top of SimpleAsset, requires to be released and widely adopted on mainnet in order for them to guarantee that their creators would always earn their royalties. “The current honor system has already been undermined by a growing black market.”
Solving these is not possible by the launch time, so the team plans to start “by decentralizing our chain and allowing exporting to EOS as a failsafe to our NFTs, while we work towards enabling full migration to mainnet.”
Most recently, Block.one said it planned to launch Bullish, a new crypto exchange that secured USD 10bn in funding, in 2021.
Block.one launched a limited version of its social media platform last July after releasing its beta version back in February 2020. Voice was pitched as an alternative to existing social media networks by putting an emphasis on having only real human users on its platform. However, it received mixed reviews from its first users, some of which complained of early access delays and other platform design shortcomings.
At 18:43 UTC, ranked 23rd by market capitalization (with USD 5.9bn), EOS is trading at USD 6.07. It dropped 33% in a day and 57% in a week. Overall, its price appreciated 128% over the past year.
Meanwhile, the new plan is announced at a time when the NFT market is noticeably cooling down.
Looking at the sales data offered by nonfunble.com (7-day value), over the past 30 days, the sales hit USD 176m on May 9. Yet, they plunged the very next day, today recording USD 27.6m – a 84% drop.
While May 3 brought more than 34,000 NFT sales, the figure for May 18 was below 18,000. So far today, it’s just above 18,300.
Selling NFTs seems to have become harder. Dallas Mavericks chief Mark Cuban offered for sale a piece titled ‘Nuevo Galaxy’ created by AnnieMc, for ETH 5 (USD 13,130). This was a month ago and there are no offers yet. He bought it for ETH 0.4.
Per nonfungible.com, the number of unique buyers in the past 30 days (7-day value) dropped from 12,138 on May 3 to 7,201 today. The number of unique sellers on May 5 was 5,496 (the highest in this period), compared to 4,389 today.