Peepeth Bridges Blockchain and Social Media, Passes 2,000 Users


In another move to increase the appeal of blockchain social media DApps, Peepeth, a microblogging DApp built on the Ethereum blockchain, offers users the ability to share content between Peepeth and Twitter.

“I’ve built it to be used by a wider (non-crypto) audience,” founder Bevan Barton said in March in a Reddit post announcing the DApp’s launch.

The feature garnered praise in July from Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin, who said in a peep that he was impressed by Peepeth’s UI, its link to the Against Malaria Foundation, and users’ ability to peep and tweet at the same time.

Peepeth is not the first such DApp to link blockchain technology to a traditional social media platform: the teen chat app Kik has created a cryptocurrency called Kin that Kik is using to create an in-app marketplace for brand-to-user and user-to-user transactions.  Similarly, the PROPS Project, an outgrowth of the social video site YouNow, rewards users and developers with its cryptocurrency, Props, based on their contributions. A third,, provides a dashboard for users to post and monitor content on centralized and decentralized social networks.

Encouraging The Move

By linking blockchain and traditional social media, developers like Barton are targeting non-crypto users looking for a place to share yet retain ownership of content in an environment free of bots, scammers and trolls. And the appeal is timely. In August, frustrated with the lack of response to trolling and harassment on the platform, Jared Gaut, IT system engineer at Twitter announced he was taking a hiatus from the platform for the rest of the quarter, joining a long list of others who have either left Twitter, or moved to alternative platforms like Quitter or Mastodon.

“I believe leadership truly have their hearts in the right place and genuinely want Twitter to be a safe place, but right now leadership is failing us,” he said. “We are not a government. We do not need to be neutral. The feeling that we are making the tough, right call by remaining neutral is wrong. Our inaction is suppressing voices – disabling conversation.”

Peepeth’s Barton has said there will be no censorship on his DApp, instead relying on proof-of-ownership for accounts and the security of blockchain technology to ensure safe and secure interactions on his platform.

It remains to be seen if this will keep hate speech, misogyny and racism from Peepeth in the long run, yet user comments suggest that civility and real conversations with real users is in part driving them to the DApp, which has grown to a community of over 2,100, up from just under 1,000 in April.

Despite this early success, blockchain based social media is still in its infancy. Of the 1,811 DApps built on the Ethereum blockchain, just 250 are categorized as social – roughly half the number of gaming DApps.  And even the appeal of content ownership and spam relief may not be enough to allow DApps to compete against incumbent social media platforms head-on. The larger opportunity, however, may be in creating social applications that leverage the unique aspects of blockchain technology – games like Cryptokitties, those built around cryptographically-scarce digital goods, and DApps that blend new technologies and social media are just a few examples.

As these opportunities emerge in social media, business, and other applications, end-user acceptance of blockchain technology is expected to grow and gain momentum. It will be interesting to see the new partnerships that result.

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