PewDiePie, the biggest YouTube channel with some 93 million viewers, is to start live streaming exclusively on a purportedly blockchain based platform called DLive.
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg (pictured above), better known as PewDiePie, made the announcement on his YouTube channel this Tuesday, citing Dlive as sponsor of the video.
We could not establish how much Dlive paid Kjellberg for the video, but he says in his new channel that he will “support creators by donating up to $50,000 to a max of 100 creators,” with streaming on Dlive to start on April 14th.
This announcement was made just three days after Kjellberg addressed a petition calling to ban him from YouTube, with it signed at the time by some 70,000 individuals.
In that video he largely admits most of the “charges” against him, including using the N word twice while streaming, for which he apologized. As well as paying individuals on Fiverr to hold a very anti-semetic placard, which he said was to show that people will do anything on that platform.
He said “f*** racists” and “f*** white nationalists,” unequivocally maintaining he is neither. He said he and his subscribers had donated to build a well in India, in addition to a number of other donations.
The 30 year old provided context in some instances to show certain racist remarks were not meant, yet on some other instances excused it by blaming some artificial intelligence software which just so happened to superimpose Leslie Jones’ face on Harambe.
Finally, a number of times he said that was in the past and apologized for it, but even recent videos have some beyond edgy racially charged comments that in many ways somewhat subtly effectively scapegoat muslims.
For those unfamiliar with PewDiePie, he can be described as a gamer – livestreaming himself playing games – mixed with perhaps a more guarded 4chan persona.
The 4chan jokes however started becoming a bit real, especially with the mosque shooting recently, raising the question of whether a certain element of the internet has gone a bit too far and whether it isn’t time to be a bit more mindful of social and cultural cohesions especially for such hugely popular 30 year olds addressing an audience of largely teenagers.
Perhaps as a backup PewDiePie is now starting to use Dlive, but this platform looks a bit peculiar.
It claims to be running on a blockchain, a blockchain no one has heard of: Lino. It’s whitepaper is effectively the abstract with just a bit more words as it hardly provides much detail.
They claim to be using a Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerant (PBFT) consensus system. What that means exactly is not explained at all, but the system will have only 22 validators, with 7 such validators currently being run by Lino.
Very interestingly, the Lino blockchain has not actually launched. Yukai Tu of the Lino core team said in reply to questions about the whitepaper being so sparse in detail:
“Since we are still on testnet everything is under testing and we may release that once we have done the testing.”
So the blockchain hasn’t launched, yet Dlive says: “At DLive, we are changing the whole game by putting platform ownership in the hands of the users through blockchain technology.”
We couldn’t quite establish whether they’re running on the testnet, but this project was previously on the Steem Blockchain. During that time, apparently the Steem blockchain stopped working for some reason, while Dlive kept functioning as if nothing with suggestions the videos and everything runs on their own servers rather than on any blockchain.
That would explain why the site appears to be quite fast and very usable, unlike proper services that use actual decentralized and blockchain tech which tend to be a bit like dial-up or very early broadband internet in speed.
To top it up, the Lino token is an ERC20 token running on top of ethereum’s blockchain. Apparently they had an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) but now the token has been delisted with it not showing on CoinMarketCap.
This ERC20 token is used on the platform to pay creators and viewers with it unclear where the money is meant to come from to make such payments.
Users obviously can donate directly, but this appears to be basically YouTube, just with a token. So if Dlive wanted to, they could presumably ban anyone they like, just like YouTube.
Finally PewDiePie clearly states in the video that it was sponsored by Dlive. A representative of Dlive says:
“It’s the first deal PewDiePie signed with any livestreaming platform and he will go live weekly. So it’s the biggest and exclusive. Beyond that, I am afraid we can not disclose anything from the terms.”
Whether exclusive means he’s leaving YouTube, is not clear. That would be quite a big step, with Kjellberg not stating so and not asking his subscribers to go to Dlive. Instead he kind of just gave an advert of the platform and blockchain tech in general.
So this might be just a marketing gimmick with a tinge of having a backup just in case YouTube does go ahead and de-platform. Probably making his choice of Dlive more based on however much they paid him rather than an impartial consideration of YouTube alternatives.