Twetch co-founder and CEO Josh Petty has built a reputation for himself online with his guerrilla marketing efforts, but he’s hoping that it’s his growing business and the role it plays in developing the Bitcoin SV ecosystem, that leaves a lasting impression.
‘I guess you could say that I’m a serial entrepreneur – I’ve spent roughly the last ten years of my life building software applications and I’m currently working on building with Bitcoin SV,’ Petty explains.
‘My main focus at the moment is Twetch, which is an application interface to Bitcoin. Users can post their information, own their data and profit from that content.’
But if Twetch is where Josh Petty is today: how did he get into Bitcoin and why did he end up picking the near-ubiquitous social media giants as one his first targets?
‘I originally started out in university making websites. I learned how to make WordPress websites – really simple stuff – and then, over time, graduated into software development,’ he says.
‘Along that career path, I had learned about Bitcoin and started to imagine a world where applications could utilise Bitcoin – initially as money, then later, as an actual place for data storage.’
Like any self-described serial entrepreneur, Petty is interested in how novel technologies can provide solutions to present problems. Though he discovered Bitcoin by accident, it didn’t take long for him to see its potential and to begin thinking of ways that it could be used.
‘I learned about Bitcoin at a college party actually, and I didn’t really know what it was – it took me a day or two of just doing some basic research,’ says Petty.
‘But it totally caught my eye, I was totally into it after I thought about it. I thought that there was such a big use case for it – even not knowing a lot about payment technologies or even the internet at the time, I immediately recognised the potential of Bitcoin.’
Empowering the Individual with Twetch
With a firm grasp on the potential utility of Bitcoin, Petty had an idea of how it could be used as a tool to disrupt the social media status quo, establishing a new platform where the userbase and the monetisation of their data aren’t the primary focus.
‘We knew that using Bitcoin, we could start to empower the individual more than any other social media or any other application,’ says Petty.
‘You know that that you’re essentially, whether it’s email or chat or using social networks, you’re creating information. And these other companies are getting your data and they’re selling it one way or the other. You don’t see anything in return.’
The solution was to harness Bitcoin SV’s unique capabilities – infinitely scalable capacity and assured low transaction costs – to move the social media experience on-chain. Users pay small amounts of money – matters of cents – to post content; in turn, they are rewarded from interactions with the posts – likes () and shares () for example, which also cost a few cents to make. Users can also easily pay each another in BSV, as well as set minimum payment thresholds for users wanting to interact with their content – appropriately dubbed a ‘troll tax’.
‘There’s about half the world that uses social media – 3 billion people roughly – so it’s a very large category, many people are spending many hours of their day using this and seeing nothing in return – there’s no value of their time or information,’ says Petty.
‘We are going to put that power back into the user and we’re going to allow them to actually create value and earn from it and trade that in and actually be able to own that and keep that.’
And it isn’t just about allowing users to monetise and receive value for the content they are creating and sharing via their social media account. Because the data is owned by users and stored on the blockchain, the contents of their social media page no longer live and die by the mercy of the platform it’s used on.
‘If Twetch fails or Twetch.com goes down, the user still can get their information. If you get banned from a social media platform in the future, you’re just going to go to a competitor and log in and take all your data with you,’ explains Petty.
‘Currently, that’s not the case. If you get removed or you lose your account, you may have spent ten years building YouTube videos and they’re completely lost. We’re changing all of that.’
So far, users have bought into the model offered by Twetch. At last public count, Twetch had topped 20,000 users, despite doing very little in the way of traditional marketing or product evangelising. From Twetch’s perspective, the value proposition is such an improvement over incumbents that it is enough to attract those who know there must be something better out there.
Powered by Bitcoin SV
Re-envisioning the social media operating model could not have been done on any blockchain: it had to be built on one that could handle the necessary throughput and scale as required. After considering the different offerings available, Bitcoin SV was the only choice for Twetch.
‘I started experimenting with other cryptocurrencies and understanding the use case, really studying it, and Bitcoin SV really caught my attention. I had realised that all the other cryptocurrencies – they basically don’t make sense. You could just do everything they say they could do actually on the original Bitcoin protocol,’ says Petty.
’Bitcoin SV was the logical conclusion to many years’ worth of experimenting and it proves, that actually, Bitcoin does everything that all these other cryptocurrencies say that they want to do. It actually works.
Once Petty and his team – including fellow Bitcoin Association Ambassador Billy Rose – found a home with Bitcoin SV, it was a then a straight line to bringing the social media solution long-imagined to life.
‘With Twetch, this is a five-year-old idea finally being brought to life on Bitcoin SV because it does everything that we need – it does scale, it has microtransactions, you can use the data on-chain, you can actually solve the problems that need to be solved on the Internet,’ says Petty.
‘And that’s really giving users the power.’