Jun 4th, 2021
After the longest halt, DigiFinex is coming back with a new AMA partnering with a popular project that is based in Hong Kong — LikeCoin! We have invited the founder of LikeCoin, Kin Ko, to share with us LikeCoin’s core concepts, including some of the most common practice that everyone would have experienced daily — giving likes! How does Kin incorporate giving credit to content through giving likes and decentralization? Read on our blog recap to learn more now!
# Guest of the night
Kin Ko, Founder of LikeCoin / #decentralizehk / member of Creative Commons
An entrepreneur who believes in democracy, freedom, openness and diversity. Graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Kin undertook Bachelor of Computer Engineering, Minor in Sociology, Government and Public Administration; also took Master in Information Technology Management. Also taking time to teach “Sociology of Blockchain” at Innercommons Education.
At past time, Kin is a creator. His articles can be found on regular column #decentralizehk in Apple Daily, Stand News, Matters and other local media in Hong Kong.
Host of the night, Kiana Shek, DigiFinex CXO
Previously working for Baidu as Assistant General Manager, Kiana has had advanced education in the financial field, also obtaining a rich background in Big data, AI, international businesses. In 2017, she founded DigiFinex as a Co-Founder, and dedicated to provide a safer, convenient, transparent digital asset exchange platform for the people. She is also responsible for promoting brand values globally on behalf of DigiFinex, and actively takes part in various Blockchain summits around the world.
Below is a highlight of our Live Session:
Kiana Shek (Right), Kin Ko (Left)
# About LikeCoin
Kiana: Tell us about LikeCoin’s team and vision.
Kin Ko: Since the establishment of the project in 2017, LikeCoin aims to build a decentralized publishing infrastructure. Compared with Bitcoin and Ethereum and other blockchains that decentralize money and financial services, LikeCoin’s vision is to decentralize content and publishing services.
The LikeCoin team and community itself stresses heavily on decentralization too, to avoid being led by a small group of people. In order to achieve this, I have resigned from the foundation at the beginning of this year and gradually handed over the responsibility of the foundation to LikeCoin DAO, Decentralized Autonomous Organization. As for the other co-founders, they have formed the independent company Liker Land and are in charge of the underlying development, such as the upcoming FoTan upgrade to LikeCoin chain and other relevant ISCN (International standard content number) functions.
We treat the LikeCoin ecosystem like the “Republic of Liker Land”, and the various functions of this digital nation are deliberately distributed among the community members, other than Liker Land team and myself, functions are carried out by many early participants. For instance, major communication platforms such as Discord, Twitter, Matters.news, a reading platform for curators, etc. are all initiated and managed by early users of the community. As for the governance of the entire community, 50 LikeCoin chain validators entrusted by all LikeCoin stakeholders have proposed one proposal after another to improve the entire ecology. So far, 12 proposals have been proposed, and the latest #12 is in the voting period.
Just last month, the community launched a 20 million LikeCoin fund to sponsor various independent development, operation and promotion. Within one month, six applications have been received and one has been approved by the community.
Kiana: Please briefly describe the core operating mechanism of LikeCoin. What are its advantages compared to traditional algorithms?
Kin Ko: The core feature of LikeCoin is to publish articles, photos, books, short videos and other content on the blockchain.
There is an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) recorded in every book published, and the idea of publishing content to LikeCoin Chain is similar to that. It will generate a unique ISCN, international standard content number, and include metadata such as information of the author, date, license terms, and content fingerprint. Because of the characteristics of the blockchain, ISCN and metadata is immutable, as for the content itself, it is not written directly into the LikeCoin chain, but delivered to IPFS by default, and distributed through the power of mass P2P to avoid single point of failure and resist censorship.
You can think of it like this. Imagine there is a nation in the digital world that loves publishing. It takes on the initiative to register and distribute articles, photos, and content on behalf of the whole world, and it does not submit to the censorship mechanism of individual governments. To request for a publication from this digital nation, one will need to use their currency. This “currency” is LikeCoin token; and this digital nation is the Republic of Liker Land.
From a technical point of view, ISCN writes metadata into the LikeCoin chain through a transaction, so naturally the token would need $LIKE so as the get through. This works the same when you need $ETH to operate a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. The core research and development of Ethereum is smart contracts. And the core research and development of LikeCoin chain is to connect IPFS and blockchain to read each other. This function will be officially launched in the next FoTan upgrade.
LikeCoin is a publishing infrastructure without a monopolized platform. The core function of $LIKE is to preserve valuable content to circulate forever without the chance of being tampered. Bitcoin decentralizes transactions and democratizes currency; LikeCoin decentralizes registration and distribution of content, democratizing publishing.
These are the core values of LikeCoin.
Kiana: Can you tell us about the original intention of LikeCoin and its applications?
Kin Ko: As mentioned above, the original intention of LikeCoin is to decentralize and democratize the publishing ecology.
For example, I wrote a book called “Blockchain Sociology” — this is actually a real example coming from the traditional publishing mechanism, of course, that will require a legit publisher to apply for procedures such as ISBN, printing, distribution, etc. The entry barrier is very high. Publishers are very picky but we really can’t blame them. After all, they need to be careful on measuring the potential return.
A trendier approach is to directly distribute the electronic version through platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing. The barrier is much lower, but it is still controlled by giant corporations like Amazon.
When you engage with LikeCoin, you no longer need anyone’s permission to publish. It is permissionless. As long as you have a cryptocurrency wallet and a small amount of LikeCoin, you can directly publish the book to the blockchain, and the metadata of the book, such as author, publication date, license terms, etc., once written to the LikeCoin chain, won’t be able to change. As for the book itself, it is distributed through the IPFS peer-to-peer file system.
Although the example I gave above is a book, the same principle applies to smaller content units too. An article and a photo can also be published on the blockchain in the same way, which really helps to eliminate the obstacles publishers and creators face. Anyone who is willing to try can publish the content on the LikeCoin chain, so that the work will be circulated forever.
# LikeCoin’s Business Model and Future
Kiana: Could you please introduce about the business model of LikeCoin.
Kin Ko: LikeCoin’s business model is simple and clear. It is a utility token. When you want to publish content on the blockchain, you must use it as a “gas fee”. We didn’t call this fee a gas fee, but it might be easier to understand this way. To run a smart contract, you have to pay ETH as a gas fee; if you want to publish the content of the blockchain, you have to pay LikeCoin as a gas fee. There are billions of content generated on the Internet every day, if part of the content here hopes to circulate online forever in as many channels as possible, the authors will need to use LikeCoin, generating huge demand.
In addition to the above core application of publishing content to the blockchain, many people also adopt LikeCoin to give “Like”. In the past two years, more than 16,500 authors have received more than 44M LikeCoin “Likes”. As an author myself, LikeCoin has earned more than $700 US dollars in April, and it was based on the exchange rate by the end of April. At today’s exchange rate, it is approximately $1,000 US dollars. We call this mechanism “Reinventing the Like’’, which is also the first application that many LikeCoin participants learned. From the perspective from the cryptocurrency industry, this can also be understood as an airdrop to attract attention, but unlike ordinary crypto airdrops, LikeCoin’s airdrops are very accurate, generated by readers’ like every day, so that the algorithm will reward good content as a result. Not to mention, the airdrops are mainly sponsored by readers who appreciate the content.
Kiana: Can you introduce the incentive design model of $Like token, such as its issuance supply and the ways of reward, and what value can we get if I hold $Like token?
Kin Ko: Like other Proof of Stake blockchains, such as ETH 2.0, LikeCoin holders can participate to validate transactions. They can be “mined” without consuming electricity or knowing the technology. The method is very simple, you only need to delegate your LikeCoin to any trusted validators to enjoy an annual return rate of about 10%.
Of course, the LikeCoin holder can also use the coin to “clap” works and authors they are interested in, turning likes into rewards.
Kiana: Do you have any plans and prospects for the next development of LikeCoin?
Kin Ko: To count our most recent significant update and planning would definitely be the FoTan upgrade.
In addition to the new features of the Cosmos SDK, such as IBC inter blockchain communication, which will facilitate communications with other blockchains, the most important would be the ISCN feature that took two years in the making, where creators could publish their content on the blockchain.
Kiana: I have a personal question, which is also the tradition of DigiFinex AMA. Can you share with us your personal investment portfolio in crypto assets?
Kin Ko: In fact, I rarely do active investment transactions. Rather than being an “investor”, I prefer to concentrate my time and energy on being an “inventor”.
However, I strongly believe that having the knowledge in financial management can help us achieve financial freedom, and that is how we may pursue our dreams. That’s why I have set to buy $100 of Bitcoin and $100 of Ether every day, without taking up time and energy, and may steadily investwith dollar cost averaging.
In addition, most of the coins I hold are projects that I very much agree with their rationale and technologies, such as MakerDAO, ATOM, MASK, etc. Compared to investment, my mentality is more like Kickstarter crowdfunding, I support them because I agree with them. In case the token price goes to zero, I still feel okay, as I am just supporting projects for its cause.
But that being said, this rarely happened in reality. On the contrary, certain projects have actually brought me returns multiple times! Because in the long run, the price reflects the value, just that the performance is relatively slow.
Kiana: The last question, now that LikeCoin has achieved such a huge success, do you have any ideas for creating new projects in the future? When the time comes, please remember to continue to cooperate with DigiFinex~
Kin Ko: Not for the time being. Back in 2017, when LikeCoin was newly created, we stated that we would invest at least ten years time. It’s because if we are to transform an ecosystem fundamentally, ten years time is inevitable even if we work very hard. And now, only four years have passed. Everyone, wait for me for another six years. If LikeCoin is on track in six years, I may start a new project. I hope DigiFinex will support it.
Thank you Kin for visiting our office and participated in our AMA for a wonderful offline gathering! While decentralization seems distant, Kin has combined the concept together with crediting creators by turning “likes” into a way to protect intellectual property rights. A powerful idea supported by technology advancement has never been better represented! We will see you at our next AMA!
LikeCoin is a Decentralized Publishing Infrastructure for Decentralized Registry, Decentralized Rewards and Decentralized Governance.
The core component of LikeCoin is LikeCoin chain, a public blockchain tailor-made for content publishing, supporting the Republic of Liker Land.
Some media empowered by LikeCoin include Matters, Standnews, InMedia, HKCNews and other 1,500+ websites. LikeCoin can also be utilized on WordPress, Medium, Vocus, Blogspot ( Blogger.com ), Pixnet and other content platforms.