Blockchain firm LBRY has ceased operations citing insurmountable debt. The company announced the closure of its services on its website Friday, April 3rd, 2021.
LBRY allowed people to host digital content, such as videos, music and other data on the blockchain. The idea was to create a podcast-like platform where people could monetize, share and comment on content, with content creators getting paid for each view.
The firm was founded in 2015 and had raised over $5 million in venture capital. The company had partnered with major players like Binance and Microsoft, earning it the moniker of ‘the blockchain version of YouTube’.
However, despite some prominent partnerships, the company was unable to create a sustainable revenue model for itself, according to its blog post. The post also made no mention of the company being acquired, suggesting that it had gone under due to extreme losses and mounting debt.
The closure of LBRY also affects its mobile apps, which have been taken down from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
The closure of LBRY; though significant; is not unexpected given the challenges with blockchain-based applications. While blockchain promises improved efficiency in many areas; it has yet to prove itself as a mainstream tool; particularly in the media and entertainment sector.
Exploring ways to make money off blockchain and other applications remains a challenge; as evidenced by LBRY’s failure.