Startup Raises $20 Million to Launch a Blockchain-Based YouTube Competitor

Autonomous video startup Lino intends to rival YouTube by building its video distribution network with blockchain technology. The company has secured the fund from Chinese seed investor ZhenFund.
Sibel Nicholson

Lino, an autonomous video startup in Silicon Valley, aims to build a decentralized, collectively-owned video content distribution system which will remove the middlemen. The company announced in a press release earlier this week that it had secured $20 million in funding through a private token sale from leading Chinese seed investor Zhenfund. Other investors included FBG Capital, DFund, and INBlockchain.

"We believe that blockchain has enormous potential to empower video creators by decentralizing how their content is distributed and ensuring that their earnings go directly into their pockets," Wilson Wei, CEO of Lino, said. "We want to eliminate the middlemen in video streaming."

The video content distribution system, which is decentralized and collectively-owned, will be able to more fairly compensate content creators' aims by cutting out the middlemen, the company said.

Lino faces competition from Streamspace, Flixxo, Viuly, and Stream, all of which are working on similar concepts.

Incentive for long-range economic growth

Traditional video platforms face important obstacles in terms of partnerships and take up to a 60 percent cut. However, Lino will use blockchain technology to ensure content value can be recognized efficiently.

All contributors can thus be motivated to promote long-term economic growth.

The company said YouTube holds "enormous power over creators and focuses on maximizing profit, which can bring it into conflict with its actual creators.”

“The solution is to create a collectively-owned, decentralized means of distribution, which ensures all content value is directly distributed to content creators and affiliated contributors without going through a privately owned entity as a middleman."

Lino decentralizes video content by providing five key infrastructure components. These are:
Free Transactions: Users can use LINO tokens (LINO) to pay content creators. Incentivised Currency System: Lino's incentivized model creates a sustainable digital content economy by incentivizing all community contributions including content creation, content redistribution, and infrastructure services.
Proof of Human Engagement: Lino prevents bots from manipulating the reward distribution and prevents potential attacks.
Proof of Content Value: Lino measures the revenue generated from content as its value reflected in the market, taking several measures to prevent the system from being flooded with fraud.
Auctioning Content Delivery Network (CDN) and Storage: Lino offers a peer-to-peer, auction-based CDN. Lino also stores video and live stream playback in a decentralized manner by using an auction approach to achieve decentralization.

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The press release said the company believed in decentralized, peer-to-peer content delivery networks (CDN), but current projects did not seem ready for stability and costs.

The value of the content in the new system will be determined by human engagement with it. This will help prevent fraud and bots from manipulating the system, according to the company. Transactions will be free of charge. The company will seek to provide a decentralized CDN through an auction system. The system is a reflection of the human engagement. Users with more interesting or unique content will receive more rewards than those who produce less interesting content.

Lino chief executive Wilson Wei also told TechCrunch that he expected content creators to garner three to five times the profits they make on YouTube or its competitor site, Twitch.

Via: Lino

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