LimeWire Pivots to NFT Marketplace, New CEO Claims Decentralization a Problem
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LimeWire Pivots to NFT Marketplace, New CEO Claims Decentralization a Problem

LimeWire aims to be resurrected as a mainstream-focused NFT marketplace this year.
Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

LimeWire, along with Kazaa and Napster, was once considered the vanguard destroyer of record labels. Neutralized by legal problems, LimeWire intends to make a comeback in 2022 as a less rogue and more centralized platform catering to digital artists and musicians.

LimeWire’s Reincarnation Spearheaded by the Zehetmayr Brothers

When the internet adoption rate was heating up in the 2000s, LimeWire was one of the most-used apps. Whether one wanted to download music, video games, or movies, LimeWire’s peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing service made it happen. Predictably, allowing its userbase of over 50-million to download content for free brought much legal trouble for the company.

This culminated in a $105 million settlement LimeWire had to pay to 13 record companies in 2011, as LimeWire was forced to shut down a year prior. Suffice to say, the mainstream media, such as Forbes magazine, dubbed LimeWire as one of the P2P platforms that are “Piracy Sites That Nearly Destroyed the Music Industry”.

Fast forward to this year and LimeWire is set to emerge as an NFT marketplace with a twist. With record companies having squeezed the original company dry, Austrian brothers and entrepreneurs, Paul and Julian Zehetmayr, bought the LimeWire brand from the Lime Group founded by Mark Gorton. This modus operandi here is similar to BlockBusterDAO trying to purchase the nostalgia-laden brand from Dish Satellite. 

LimeWire to Create a Centralized NFT Experience for Mainstream Users

Buying the LimeWire brand is one thing, but funding the development of an NFT marketplace is a different kind of ball game. After all, CoinBase expanded its personnel by 2,000 to expedite its Web3 entry and launch its own NFT marketplace. Notably, the Austrian brothers sold their previous venture APILayer, a cloud-based API and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to Idera, on January 18, 2021, and are likely looking for a new big project.

With funds at hand, the brothers are angling for a different NFT marketplace. In an interview with CNBC, Julian Zehetmayr views decentralization as a problem for the end-user. Instead of competing with the likes of OpenSea, built on top of a decentralized blockchain, the new LimeWire will be all about streamlining the NFT trading experience.

“The issue with the NFT market is that most platforms are decentralizedIf you look at bitcoin, all the exchanges are making it really easy to buy, trade and sell bitcoin. There’s no one really doing the same in the NFT space.”

Therefore, a reimagined LimeWire, completely divorced from the original team, will be an NFT marketplace focusing on ease of use, using LimeWire’s P2P legacy and nostalgia as a marketing tool.

Following the mainstream “easy” philosophy, NFT prices will be listed in USD, instead of cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), or Tezos (XTZ) as is the case with OpenSea.

The company will also be seamlessly integrating credit card payments, another step away from cryptos and towards the mainstream Web2 experience.

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LimeWire Token Possible in the Future

However, the brothers do plan to launch a LimeWire token at some point in the future, as a funding vehicle to raise additional funds.

LimeWire token holders will gain voting rights to determine LimeWire’s curation policies and the ranking of artists for the platform’s music chart section.

Speaking of music artists, Julian Zehetmayr also noted that 10 “really big mainstream” artists are already signed up for the new LimeWire experience.

While the LimeWire tokens are planned for the end of the year, the LimeWire platform itself is scheduled for the May launch. In the interim, here is the LimeWire waitlist, making you eligible for early access and exclusive airdrops.

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Do you think torrent apps were the bigger culprit in making LimeWire-like platforms obsolete than lawsuits? Let us know in the comments below.