Startups

LBRY: Decentralizing Art in The Internet Age

Remember the old days when there were only two ways to watch something. A- The cinema and B- Rent a cassette or DVD, in case you are not relatively ancient. You couldn’t exactly watch something on a whim and not to mention you didn’t have millions of movies to choose from every 5 seconds if you didn’t like the one that you picked initially. Safe to say that digital platforms like YouTube and Netflix etc, have totally changed the audio video entertainment industry. And just like that, they have replaced the traditional entertainment mediums mostly.

However, there is a downside to these digital content distribution platforms, they have given birth to issues like copyright, censorship and even privacy. Issues that affect both, the content creators and its consumers. Well that might not be a problem anymore, thanks to the blockchain tech, there is a digital hub based on blockchain and it is presenting itself as a solution to the problems of the digital world. LBRY aims to create digital marketplace for content, where control isn’t restricted to big corporations.

LBRY, which is pronounced as Library, is a decentralized digital content distribution protocol and a marketplace. It supports a vast variety of content including, but not limited to, videos, songs and eBooks, etc. The co-founder, Mike Vine, simply explained LBRY as,

LBRY is a content sharing platform. If you have a film, a song, or an eBook, you can publish it and share it very cheaply on LBRY. If you’re looking for content, it’s so easy to find, your Grandma can do it.

It uses blockchain tech to eliminate the third party from solely controlling any particular content. It thus gives the control in the hands of the author or publisher. That is how it can effectively eradicate issues like censorship and copyright strikes.

Furthermore, since the code of the LBRY project is open-source, it allows developers to create their own decentralized apps (dApps). And content creators can, in turn, use these dApps to upload their content on the LBRY network and can bank on their work by setting a fee.

LBRY credits (LBC)

The LBC is the cryptocurrency created by the LBRY network. Its purpose is to fuel their content market in its entirety. The LBC coin is also required by consumers to access the monetized content on LBRY network. The platform also allows LBC mining by giving block rewards.

Benefits of LBC

The LBRY technology

You know the HTTP protocol? The one that allows people to surf the Internet? Well the LBRY protocol operates in a similar way by allowing its users to browse the LBRY network. While publishing any content, the creator reserves unique name, directing to the content. What LBRY does is, it associates that particular name with the content it is meant represent. The LBRY network can be divided into two layers.

 Protocol layer

There are two core components of the LBRY protocol layer. The first is the LBRY blockchain. Similar to other cryptocurrencies, LBRY uses blockchain for its core functions. Two important functions of LBRY blockchain are metadata storage system and a decentralized lookup.

The second is the LBRYNet. It is basically a software that facilitates the interaction between LBRY network and a user’s computer. The primary function of LBRYNet is to decide the use of information that is stored in LBRY blockchain.

Service layer

The service layer fulfills the simple tasks of executing the functions, which have been decided by the protocol layer. This layer is more flexible in comparison to the protocol layer.

Resemblance to BitTorrent

LBRY actually resembles BitTorrent in the ways that the data is actually transferred. According to Jerrey Kaufman,

LBRY is driven by a distributed hash table quite similar to the one that BitTorrent uses.

He further explained that there is another similarity between the two and that is, BitTorrent is generally a community of people interested in sharing access to information and knowledge. LBRY shares the same goals and extends existing torrents as a way of bootstrapping its network.

The team

Jeremy Kauffman co-founded LBRY Inc. with the vision of a decentralized global content hub, controlled and owned by no one. Currently, Jeremy is the chief executive officer of LBRY Inc. There are three other co-founders who serve on different positions in LRBY Inc: Alex Grintsvayg (Chief Technical Officer), Josh Finer (Director of Operations and Analytics), and Jack Robison (Protocol Developer).

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Abeer Anwaar

Abeer holds a Bachelors degree in Media studies and covers blockchain startups for BlockPublisher. An optimist, excels in the art of the written word and swears by the joy of all things sweet. Email: abeer@blockpublisher.com or contact the editor at editor.startups@blockpublisher.com

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