Web3 To Revolutionize Social Media With Creator Ownership


According to recent statistics, the world’s existing social media networks currently have a staggering 5 billion active users, resulting in a colossal industry worth 231 billion dollars.

Users spend almost two and a half hours daily on these platforms, seeking connectivity and entertainment. However, the platform owners are the ones who benefit financially, keeping the profits for themselves. 

Pop CEO and Founder Michael Shen with the team. 

(L-R. Arina Ponomareva, Michael Shen, Evanberg Gasgonia, Muhammed Ashif)

“Social media platforms generate revenue from both advertisements and content, but creators often have limited opportunities to earn. Only a select few are able to monetize their social media fame, while regular users are not offered any earning opportunities. This is why we believe that web3 technology, which utilizes decentralization and smart contracts, has the potential to challenge the current status quo. To achieve this goal, we have created Pop, a platform that aims to disrupt the entire creator economy and level the playing field by providing earning opportunities to all users.” Michael Shen says.

Incentives to Drive User Engagement and Fuel Growth on Web3

With the advent of Web3 technology, the gaming industry has seen a significant increase in earning potential, and engagement rates skyrocketed, with users now having the opportunity to play and earn a share of the value generated by these ecosystems. However, historically only a few streamers could monetize their cyber sports skills. This is where Pop comes in – it aims to disrupt the social media industry by incentivizing every user action with a reward and distributing some generated revenues among the end-users.

According to the founders of Pop App, the app’s rewards program is expected to entice creators and consumers to engage and co-create on the platform. With the incentives in place, the creators are confident that users will find the rewards program appealing enough to invest their creative resources into the app. According to Michael, the ultimate goal is to bring 1 billion users to Web3 and disrupt the current social media industry and beyond; in the same way, Apple challenged Nokia.

While creators deserve a more significant portion of the returns, Pop’s incentive model allows users to generate rewards, digital assets, and collectibles through interactions. This approach can breathe new life into plateauing social media growth and declining user engagement.

Decentralization: Holds the Key to Resolving Data Privacy Concerns

As concerns over centralization, censorship, and data handling continue to plague traditional social media platforms, decentralizing social media has gained significant momentum in recent years. Pop is among the platforms leading the charge, offering users the potential to earn by consuming content and utilizing the app.

Traditional social media platforms have been criticized for handling user data, exemplified by the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This resulted in legal action and a settlement payment of $725 million. In contrast, decentralized social media has the potential to empower users by giving them greater control over their data and privacy.

Traditional social media platforms maximize their returns by capitalizing on users’ attention, trading user data, and exploring their users to the maximum. According to Pop’s founder, Michael, the platform’s goal is not only to reimagine traditional models using blockchain technology but also to fast-track the adoption of Web3. By allowing users to own their data, decentralization offers a viable solution to the growing demand for privacy and data protection. 

Furthermore, it can prevent power concentration in the hands of a few entities, promoting free speech and reducing censorship. Pop’s approach to decentralization may be the solution needed to address social media’s challenges today.

Smart Contracts: The Catalyst Empowering Creators to Take Ownership

YouTube and TikTok have long been known for their incentive programs that attract creators to their platforms. While YouTube claims to share over 50% of profits with its creators, this strategy has helped the video giant maintain its leadership. However, on most social media platforms, creators only make money through sponsored content, leaving newcomers or those with smaller audiences struggling to monetize their efforts, even if their content goes viral.

Pop aims to change this by offering creators rewards and fast-track earning potential from day one, regardless of their audience size and maturity. With Pop tokens, creators can make from the moment they post content and develop new types of engagement with followers, such as NFT launches.

More importantly, Pop is committed to offering support and rewards to the people who drive its success – the creators. The platform’s algorithms promote interesting content from small creators, ensuring that influencers with substantial follower counts don’t dominate. Creators maintain control over their content, while users can participate in the platform’s success.

In short, Pop App is creating a platform where creators of all sizes have the opportunity to earn and succeed. By offering rewards and incentives from day one, the platform hopes to attract a diverse range of creators and foster a community of support and collaboration.

Focusing on creators to accelerate growth

Pop App aims to revolutionize the social media industry, but its primary objective is to address the most significant pain points for content creators. On traditional platforms, creators may work full-time for at least six months without seeing any earnings due to the minimum payment thresholds. 

Pop App aims to create an equitable monetization system, enabling emerging creators to monetize their content from day one. Moreover, Pop App optimizes the engagement algorithm, ensuring that trending content with high engagement is highlighted on the platform, leading to organic growth and discovery opportunities for smaller and newer creators.

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Yes, We Need Bitcoin For DeFi Without Bridges


Some of the greatest challenges in DeFi—and smart contract technology in general—are security threats when transacting between blockchains. 

Last year, over a billion dollars was lost due to “blockchain bridges” that are notoriously insecure and prone to technical errors. That being said, demand for Bitcoin liquidity on DeFi platforms is unrelenting, as Bitcoin currently accounts for nearly 40% of crypto’s total market cap.* Widespread adoption of Bitcoin suggests that a smart contract solution that eschews bridge-related security concerns could unlock billions of dollars of capital on DeFi platforms.

Last month, the Internet Computer blockchain (ICP) introduced a game-changing advancement in this arena—an elegant and bridge-less solution to the challenge of cross-chain smart contracts. 

Through the power of threshold cryptography, ICP smart contracts can now operate keys to move Bitcoin directly on its network without the need for intermediaries to exchange value between chains. By coordinating signatures amongst multiple computers holding shares of private keys, keys remain fully secure throughout the entire smart contract execution process.

In other words, smart contracts on the Internet Computer can now hold, send and receive Bitcoin natively at the protocol level without the need for bridges or trusted third parties. Users can send and receive Bitcoin to addresses directly controlled by smart contracts on ICP—allowing for trustless movement of funds in and out of DeFi protocols. 

As Bitcoin remains a primary settlement asset for all sorts of crypto trading activities, the market for safe and secure smart-contract functionality for Bitcoin is paramount—and the Internet Computer is poised to lead the way.

Furthermore, the implications of being able to “code” Bitcoin—that is, bring smart contract functionality to the Bitcoin blockchain—extends far beyond DeFi and financial services. 


In addition to using native Bitcoin integration, developers can build decentralized web applications (Dapps) on the Internet Computer—allowing for end-to-end decentralized payments services. For instance, ICP developers can now build Bitcoin payments APIs fully on chain without the need for Web2 integrations of any kind, or even centralized servers.

Using the ICP blockchain, Bitcoin payments can be securely integrated into any number of Web3 applications. Imagine sending Bitcoin through on-chain chat services, like OpenChat, with messages like “Happy Birthday! Here’s 1,000 satoshis!” 

This is a massive step forward in the fight for a truly decentralized internet as other smart contracts platforms rely heavily on Web2 interfaces throughout their user journey. 

Other use cases for the integration of native Bitcoin into Web3 services include things like Bitcoin gaming rewards, decentralized marketplaces, SocialFi, and peer-to-peer payments services. The possibilities for integrating native Bitcoin into Dapps mirror that of any Web2 payments integrations you can think of.  

Additionally, ICP developers will soon be able to integrate Ether (ETH) and other ECDSA-based tokens into Dapps as well. Direct interaction with tokens on a variety of blockchains will soon be streamlined on the Internet Computer—making truly trustless cross-chain interoperability a reality. 

This is the future of Web3 and Web3 payments—the ability to use funds from any blockchain trustlessly within Web3 apps and services.  


Dominic Williams is the Founder and Chief Scientist at the DFINITY Foundation—the primary contributor to the Internet Computer blockchain (ICP). The Internet Computer aims to develop a World Computer blockchain that could replace traditional centralized IT, such as cloud computing services.

As builders on the Internet Computer develop end-to-end, fully on-chain applications and services—Dominic Williams continues his leadership as a distinguished crypto theoretician and serial entrepreneur focused on the Internet and distributed systems. For more details about the Internet Computer blockchain, review key metrics and other ICP information here.

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What You Can And Can’t Trust In Crypto


Over the past year, some of the crypto world’s biggest companies have collapsed, from Celsius and Voyager to BlockFi and FTX. The one constant in all these failures has been the massive breach of trust for everyone involved – from retail investors to crypto institutions. I think it’s important to reflect on how and why this happened.

Let’s think back to the innovation that launched the entire crypto industry – the Bitcoin white paper. The very first sentence of that paper explains that the central problem of online commerce is trust. Internet payment infrastructure “still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust-based model”, the pseudonymous author Satoshi Nakamoto wrote, “What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust.”

But recent events provide a stark reminder that when dealing with crypto assets in practice, investors still need to think carefully about who and what they trust. I believe there are three important categories of trust in crypto – you can trust the code, you can trust the law, or you can trust the person. I’d like to explain each of these, and offer some advice on how to think about protecting your digital assets.

Trust the code?

The Bitcoin white paper invites us to trust the code, and because of this, Bitcoin and similar crypto assets are often referred to as a “trustless” system. In certain limited scenarios, it is possible to rely on this trustlessness. This has given rise to the maxim: “not your keys, not your coins”, suggesting that only those who self-custody their own crypto have true ownership of their assets.

It’s true that more centralized methods of holding assets involve some level of trusting an institution, just like you trust your local bank to keep your paycheck and retirement accounts safe. Of course, that doesn’t mean that self-custody – choosing to exclusively trust the code – is the right option for everyone. For one thing, not everyone has the technical savvy to do this successfully and safely. Even those who do will often still find themselves using centralized institutions to trade and access advanced products, so some level of dependence on trust is hard to get away from.

There are a host of DeFi protocols that offer a service that is more code-governed than a traditional centralized financial institution run by people. Trusting these protocols, however, requires that you personally verify that the code does what it says it does, or alternatively, trust the people who programmed it. We have seen throughout the course of 2022 that some of these decentralized protocols come with their own significant risks to investors.

We need to remember that a lot of the time, when we are told to trust the code, we’re really placing our trust in people. Just look at FTX. In public, FTX touted its automated liquidation engine as the ultimate risk management tool. In reality, FTX management appears to have secretly exempted Alameda Research, a huge trading firm personally owned by its founder, from that protocol. Alameda failed, and now the exchange itself is insolvent.

At the end of the day, if you are asked to ‘trust the code’ to protect your assets, you either need to be very certain that you understand the code yourself, or you need to think about whether you trust the people behind the code.

Trust the law?

In everyday life, we largely trust the law to protect our interests when we rely on banks and other financial institutions to make transactions and save our hard-earned wealth.

Fraud and financial crimes do happen, of course, but legal protections limit the impact on individual customers. In the United States, for example, even if a consumer bank were to become completely insolvent, the US government insures account holders to the tune of $250,000. In addition, there are well-developed laws and regulations as well as stiff civil and criminal penalties for financial misconduct in most parts of the world, which go a long way toward deterring bad actors.

Thanks to these legal protections, people generally have very good reason to trust retail bank deposits, at least in the developed world. In these places, “self-custodying” one’s fiat savings would entail a much bigger risk.

So another important question for crypto users to answer is: to what extent are they protected by law? In this regard, they need to think about not just their own home country, but also about which jurisdiction the institution they may be trading with is based in.

Users can more likely have some trust in the law when they are dealing with an institution that’s physically based in the country where they live, not offshore. It is also very important to consider whether that institution is licensed by local regulatory authorities who provide oversight.

In the case of Coins, we are regulated by the Philippines’ central bank, and hold a variety of licenses which are also held by local financial institutions. We’re audited regularly, and we comply with the rules. That’s what happens in places where there is real regulatory oversight – you follow the rules or you go to jail. It’s pretty simple.

Of course, there are still criminals in this world who choose to break the law, in finance and in every other area of life. As with “trust the code”, when you are relying on the law to protect your investment, there is always some degree of trust in institutions and people. It will be important to watch how legal authorities respond to the recent breaches of trust in the crypto space.

Trust the person?

I’ve established that in crypto, as in any other financial endeavor, there is almost always going to be some level of needing to trust your counterparty. We are not yet living in the totally trustless world envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto.

What crypto users must not do is place their trust entirely in a group of people, or even worse, a single powerful individual. If a counterparty is a centralized institution that takes custody of your assets, and does so offshore, potentially beyond the reach of regulators and law enforcement, then they are essentially asking you to trust a person. If you wouldn’t agree to that with your fiat savings, you should think twice about doing it with your crypto assets.

If any good comes out of the recent negative events in the crypto markets, hopefully consumers think more carefully about the risks they are exposed to. And as crypto companies continue to build through the current bear market, let’s hope that both capital and customer interest flow to platforms and products that offer consumers some level of code-based or law-based protection beyond simply telling them: “trust me”.

By Elijah Tan, VP of Exchange, Coins.ph and ex-Binance Fiat Lead

The post What You Can And Can’t Trust In Crypto appeared first on BeInCrypto.

Buying Digital Land in a Bear Market – Risks & Rewards


The crypto bear market of 2022, which is set to extend into 2023, has seen a sustained decline in market prices for almost all cryptocurrencies. Characterised by a period of continuous downwards price action, the reduction in market values has impacted more than just profits; it has had a domino effect on major project developments, NFT collection drops, and metaverse land sales.

However, where there is a crash, there is an opportunity. Many of the world’s greatest investors have been bullish when others are bearish, just ask George Soros, Warren Buffett, and John D. Rockefeller. Risk and reward go hand in hand, with those not taking risks not exposing themselves to the potential rewards they may withhold. 

When it comes to the purchase of digital land, Bloomberg summarises the current state of the market quite neatly, saying “The once-hot market for metaverse land is attracting risky bets”, before adding “virtual property has become an investment strategy for some, even as values have tumbled alongside cryptocurrency prices”. 

In this market, timing is everything, and while we are not advocating the purchase of any investment (DYOR), we will be exploring digital land investments post-market crash in this article. 

What is Digital Land or Virtual Real Estate?

For those who aren’t fluent on the ins and outs of owning space in the metaverse, digital land is a form of blockchain-based virtual real estate that allows users to own, trade, and monetize their assets. Similar to buying and selling physical real estate, your ownership is proven and transferable, but depending on the metaverse, you have the added benefits of being able to build virtual cities, games, social spaces, and other digital experiences. 

Also like the real world, digital space offers scarcity. Many might ask “If the potential of the metaverse is limitless and infinitely expandable, why does it hold financial value?” Each metaverse builds and codes a finite amount of digital land, creating the scarcity required for value. So, in theory, much as is the case in the real world, when a metaverse grows in popularity, as a good neighbourhood or location might, the supply and demand mechanics create a rise in perceived value and price. 

Is a Bear Market a Good Time to Buy Digital Land?

Speculation is a key part of why markets work as they do, why they gather interest, and why they are hubs of opportunity. The cryptocurrency market may have taken a downward turn, with metaverse land prices falling alongside it, but that decline is a symbol of opportunity to many investors. Pessimism for the majority creates a sense of opportunity for the bullish, who often talk about buying the dip. The dip, of course, suggests that prices are due to rise, however, in a bear market, prices will continuously fall until they reach a bottom point and start to recover – thus, timing this and finding the dip is incredibly challenging. 

Is a bear market a good time to buy land? Are market prices going to recover? Are projects simply delaying their launches until the market makes a sharp recovery? So many questions offer only subjective answers, each different depending on the perspective of those answering. It is a waiting game to discover where the market will go next.

During a bear market, many explore alternative strategies, such as Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) into assets, which can also apply to digital real estate, however, this comes with great risks. For those not looking to capitalise on this investment financially, but rather because of the technological opportunities it presents, utility is the next topic of discussion.

What Can You Do With Digital Real Estate?

Digital real estate is usually bought, sold, and traded as NFTs – non-fungible tokens. So, 1 NFT = 1 piece of land. With that NFT, you can do many things beyond simple digital ownerships, such as fractional ownership, NFT rental, staking, creating virtual worlds, purchasing digital collectables, gaining access to exclusive or gated content, starting virtual businesses or services, and even more.

Depending on the metaverse in question and how they have designed their real estate and NFTs, there are a number of ways to make this profitable. Since virtual real estate can be used to collect virtual rent payments from tenants in some metaverses, that’s an option. Buying and selling the digital land is another option, flipping real estate and profiting on the margins, though this is considerably more difficult in a bear market. Digital real estate could simply be one more holding to diversify your portfolio and gain access to a new asset class and the potential that comes with it. In truth, the limits to what can be done have not yet been fully discovered.

What Separates the Heroes of NFT Land Sale

Heroes of NFT is due to launch their metaverse ‘Phosphania’ soon, and whilst it’s their first venture into the metaverse space, the foundations that it is built upon give us confidence in the success of the project. Firstly, Heroes of NFT, or HON as its huge community calls it, has already proven successful in the NFT market, selling a 16,000-strong collection to be used in a collectable trading card game. This card game is played by over 30,000 people, most of whom are keen to see where the storyline goes and explore the metaverse. 

One of the things that causes many cryptocurrency-related projects to fail is that they adopt a “build it and they will come” mentality, believing that simply launching a good technology is a guarantor of success. The reality in GameFi and Web3, the crossroads where metaverses exist, is that there needs to be community and utility first, before the novelty and intrigue of the metaverse. 

Heroes of NFT is an established project and their venture in  metaverse building and land sales is not their first ambitious project. The foundations are in place, the technology is proven, the community is large, and the marketing and storytelling are engaging and transparent. This is what separates HON from other projects set to launch their metaverses in 2023 with no provable history of success in this space.

What also sets apart HON and Phosphania from other metaverse projects is their approach to the land sale. Visitors to the space station will get a chance to use and experience the metaverse before the land sales – typically the land sale comes first to fund the metaverse development. This is a unique approach, and once live, will leverage DeFi to allow for staking of land NFTs to earn back investment costs. Users will also have the opportunity to stake HON tokens with their land NFTs to make further gains. Further down the road, you’ll be able to customise your land visually. 

Verdict: A Risk Worth Taking?

A reminder that this is not investment advice. Rather, it’s perspective advice. There are so many ways to see the evolutions of a downward market, with many seeing opportunities and others cashing out their bags to avoid further decimation. When it comes to land sales, consider how you might buy property in real life. Would you buy when house prices are cheap, or wait until they are rising? Historical trends could be your ally, but in a new space such as metaverse, there’s little data to work with.

Crypto real estate could be a great long-term investment, but it could also be a bad one, that is a question of timing, backing the right project, and having diamond hands. The market is young, so it can be seen that there is plenty of potential for growth and appreciation, whilst a diversified portfolio is seen as an advantage by many investors. There are the additional benefits of staking, rentals, and fractionalized ownership to consider too.

Just like physical real estate offers no guarantees of profit, those who buy in at a good price can often benefit from price appreciation or commercialisation (renting it out). Early mover’s advantage in the real estate market allows investors to buy properties cheap before they are built and the neighbourhood is thriving – digital land sales offer the same benefit.

Going all in on any asset is unwise, and that’s the case too for metaverse lands, so consider dipping your toes, learning how it works, and becoming an educated digital land investor for when the market does pump and recover. When that scenario comes true, you will be well positioned to make your move.

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