Wikipedia, right, but on the blockchain: a second look at Lunyr

Wikipedia, right, but on the blockchain: a second look at Lunyr

Long-time Wikipedia editor Geni casts an acerbic eye over Lunyr’s plan for Wikipedia, right, but on the blockchain:

More google knol than wikipedia but they aren’t going to say that in their adverts. Their system is essentially the knol model with writers getting a cut of the advertising revenue although they have also thrown in a review step.

I wrote up Lunyr in April:

Now, I’ve been on Wikipedia since 2004, and I think I might know a thing or two about wiki communities and how they work, and what doesn’t work and has failed dismally in the past. The subtitle of the paper is “A decentralized world knowledge base on Ethereum driven by economic incentives”. The idea is that Wikipedia with ads and micropaid contributors will definitely be something that could work, and never mind all the failed attempts to do such things in the past. It’s a collection of bad ideas that have previously crashed in multiple cases, with no sign of awareness of the history of failed Wikipedia replacements.

All the people involved are blockchain bafflegab startup people, there’s 0 with any background in education, Wikipedia or even content production. I see no evidence any of them have any idea what they’re doing here.

The important bit is the ICO (Initial Premined Altcoin Offering) for their LUN token running on Ethereum. You use this to buy ads. Note that although they tout decentralised information as a key strength of Lunyr, the advertising is strictly centralised.

Jimmy Wales was less than impressed: “Buzzword salad. The whole idea is stupid . When all you have is a blockchain hammer, everything looks like a crypto-nail.”

Their progression is what you might have predicted: they’re still blogging, but their white paper is now a dead link (though Brave New Coin has a copy and it’s in the archives) and the token is slowly sinking in value. Another successfully concluded ICO!

Bloody Vox Day’s attempted Wikipedia replacement is a less bad idea than this.

I’m actually surprised that Vox Day hasn’t started an ICO for one of his endeavours yet.



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