The Clout Market

Selling your soul for some coin

We never felt we had problems, because we never specifically defined any, but now these problems are spreading themselves onto us like germs.

When we talk emerging media, we discuss the cool parts. The new innovation, the opportunities brands and individuals have in this new economy.

This is not one of them.

This is a call to watch your back, watch out for your mental health, watch out for each other.

It’s one of the most amazing era’s in media innovation, but it could likely be labeled in history books as one of the most dangerous.

In the celebrity day trade, it was tabloid stories outside Joseph’s in the early 2000s.

Quote from DiCaprio, front page.

John Mayer stumbling out with two real world cast members, page two.

Brittany showing up two minutes after Timberlake, page three.

Value in drama has always been here, but now it’s hitting another level. Especially with more people gaining relevancy outside of the traditional channels.

Being someone in the spotlight has constantly been tough when tabloid stories dictated what movies, albums, or brand deals you landed. For a time those problems could be mitigated a bit with a good PR team.

Those days will seem like paradise for most influencers and celebrities after we enter the new phase.

The Clout Market

This phase is awful. It’s fucking terrifying.

Did Bryce Hall cheat on Addison Rae? Bryce’s stock price drops 12%.

The D'Amelio’s new show landed great ratings this week? Stock jumps 6%.

Bryce proves he didn’t cheat? Stock only raises 7% cause people are skeptical, still losing 5%.

In a way this feels not much different than the internal stock exchange that happens at CAA or WME. These sort of price jumps on a talents stock has always been around, just not in a truly tangible way, until now.

The clout market is taking the trading value of celebrity drama and turning it into real market value. They have created trading cards that are parodies of real celebrities. If they gain followers their value goes up, if there is a scandal their value goes down.

With tools like social tokens or government social credit systems in place, monetary value will be tied to human lives.

Blackmail and hit pieces will move celebrity and influencer stocks up and down faster than ever.

If the power of the internet moving $GME shorts to the brink of collapse worried you a bit, imagine what happens when someone’s entire existence is on the line.

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BitClout

BitClout falls into this new category of crypto companies that are focused on creating social versions of currency.

BitClout is social media on a blockchain (like Hive, Steem or Cent). It also generates social tokens (like Roll or Rally), which represent actual people.

Those social tokens’ supplies are controlled by automated market makers (like Uniswap or Curve), though one governed by a bonding curve that explicitly ratchets up the value as more tokens get minted.

Users who believe in someone’s social presence can invest in their social currency and could earn returns as the creator becomes more famous and their coins gain more value.

As BitClout stands right now, one must convert Bitcoin to BitClout in order to purchase creator coins.

But there’s no way to remove your money…yet. The founders have said they are working on that ability, as I’m typing this.

To prove that BitClout is a serious proof-of-work blockchain, they’ve gotten investment from Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Social Capital, TQ Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Arrington Capital, Polychain, Pantera, Digital Currency Group (CoinDesk’s parent company), Huobi, Variant and others.

Far from a perfect system, BitClout and other platforms are working to create value almost out of thin air. The idea is sound, but it’s still risky.

With BitClout launching soon, we’ll soon find out if it’s got the legs or is just another money grab.