Limewire Is Coming Back as a Musical NFT Marketplace
Today, a mere ten bucks per month gets you access to almost all the music in the world, provided you’re not too picky about audio quality. Go back 20 years, and there was no such option. This was the heyday of music file-sharing, and Limewire was one of the big names in that space. The service was shuttered in 2010 following a court battle, but now it’s back. It won’t be a file-sharing network anymore, though. The new Limewire will instead serve as a musical NFT marketplace. Welcome to 2022.
Limewire operated similarly to Napster and other platforms of the early 2000s. A centralized server connected Limewire users to each other, allowing them to share their digital media collections. The Gnutella network utilized by Limewire supported all types of media, but the connections in those days made downloading video a challenge. Limewire and its kind were mostly associated with music, which is why the RIAA waged a legal battle to shut it down.
Copyright holders succeeded in killing Limewire in 2010, but Austrian brothers Julian and Paul Zehetmayr have placed a bet that Limewire nostalgia is still worth something. The pair acquired the rights to the Limewire name, and they plan to relaunch the service as a music-focused NFT marketplace. So, Limewire has gone from offering free digital media to hawking ludicrously expensive digital tokens. It’s quite a turnaround.
Limewire’s new owners plan to offer NFT-backed products like limited edition recordings, unreleased demos, and digital merchandise. While NFTs usually rely on cryptocurrency for buying and selling, Limewire will make the whole thing simpler by listing prices in USD. Users will be able to purchase NFTs with a credit card, without ever touching any crypto themselves. Unsurprisingly, there will be a Limewire token available to investors.
Limewire claims the marketplace will launch in May, but there are few details on what will be offered.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have taken off in the last year. You’ve probably seen people showing off jpegs of cartoon apes, claiming they are worth many thousands of dollars. That might be true, assuming they actually own the NFT. There’s nothing to stop you from right-click saving someone’s NFT ape or pirating a rare music NFT available in Limewire. But NFTs aren’t really about the thing—they’re about owning a digital asset. If everyone agrees that asset is worth $100,000 you can sell it for that much. Whether or not any of the NFTs in Limewire will be worth that much is hard to say, but building these insane valuations appears to be the goal for most NFT projects.
Those who live on the bleeding edge would do well to restrain their enthusiasm. There have been uncountable NFT projects in the past year, and a significant number have been borderline (or outright) scams. There are problems with the implementation of NFTs and cryptocurrency today, but the idea of verifiable digital ownership is something worth exploring.
This content was originally published here.