Startup Block.One wants to create alternative to Twitter

Mugatu So Hot Right Now
4 min readMay 31, 2019


Authored by Felix Holtermann and Daniel Schafer, reprinted by Mugatu

With a new platform, financial investor Peter Thiel wants to make Twitter competition. Users should receive money for posts and likes.

Frankfurt Christian Angermayer has a flair for revolutionary technologies. With deals in the fintech and biotech industry, the German investor has amassed a fortune that the British “Sunday Times” estimated at the end of 2018 at 350 million euros. Now the 41-year-old is convinced that the digital world is about to face the next revolution: the replacement of social media companies by new rivals who are taking part in the profits of users.

What sounds like wild reverie, this week will take concrete forms: At a press conference in Washington, the crypto startup Block.One announce a bold plan to information from the Handelsblatt: the frontal attack on the short message service Twitter .

This year, Block.One, in which Angermayer, along with German-born Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel , plans to launch a new social media platform . This should involve its users directly in the advertising revenues.

Enough capital is available: Hong Kong-based Hong Kong-based US company Brendan Blumer and Daniel Larimer took the record $ 4 billion a year ago by issuing a cryptocurrency called EOS. EOS is more of a crypto-world operating system than a currency. Nevertheless, an EOS unit has a price: currently around eight dollars.

Block.One holds a ten percent stake in the $ 7.4 billion EOS token today. The company acts as a kind of crypto-based venture capital firm: start-ups receive money and, in return, commit to developing their EOS-based business model. Block.One also plans to invest around three billion dollars in own start-ups.

Users are involved in the success of the platform

One of the first is to be presented on Saturday: According to financial circles, the new platform is similar to Twitter , but also have features that are known from Facebook and Instagram . The trick: unlike Twitterand Co., users are directly involved in the success of the platform by means of a token, a kind of virtual credit.

Every person who logs on should receive a certain number of tokens. And for every activity on the platform — for example, a word or a like — more are added. Users should then be able to sell these tokens to advertisers via a crypto-exchange. The more activity there is on the new platform, the more it becomes popular with advertisers — and the greater the value of the tokens. Block.One itself is expected to receive new tokens every year, equivalent to just under 10 percent of the total.

Crypto fans like Angermayer firmly believe that such platforms are the vanguard of a new digital business model that focuses not on corporations but on consumers.

“Everybody has a digital footprint that’s worth a lot of money. So far, the big tech companies are stealing this value from the customers, “says the multi-founder, who manages his assets in the family holding Apeiron Investment Group. “But that will change: people will earn money each month by their existence alone. That will become the capitalist form of the unconditional basic income. “

In the crypto industry, it is believed that an average user on Block.One’s new platform could earn between $ 10 and $ 100 a month. An opinion leader such as US President Donald Trump , who has 60 million followers, could even pocket up to a million dollars.

Limited influence of Block.One

For this, however, the network would first have to reach the enormous reach of Twitter. The US Short Message Service has 134 million daily users. Since the crypto industry is not poor in promises and bold promises, there are therefore also skeptical voices.

“Whether the plan really works in the end is something Block.One only has a limited influence on,” says Professor Philipp Sandner, head of the Blockchain Center at the Frankfurt School. “The decisive factor is the adaptation by the users, ie the question of whether they actually register for the new platform and also place their posts there.”

Sandner still considers the plan promising. “This is a very exciting approach to realizing blockchain technology. There are some such approaches that are already showing a certain degree of success. “One example is the Steemit project, a platform where users can share their own texts, photos and videos and receive them in cryptocurrencies. Even the Basic Attention Token, a currency that Internet surfers should reward for watching advertisements, goes in a similar direction. Both projects have a rating in the hundreds of millions.

Since Block.One is already on. The company is worth more than $ 5 billion, thanks to the rekindled crypto boom. The fortune of happy initial investors like Angermayer is likely to have significantly increased.