For Millenials, LimeWire signified an era of “Wild West” file sharing. The good news is that the free peer-to-peer file-sharing software is set to be relaunched as an NFT marketplace.
What is LimeWire?
First things first, what exactly was LimeWire? Simply put, it was a peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) software for Windows, OS X, Linux and Solaris. It made history as one of the earliest versions of web-based music consumption.
However, it soon became the go-to platform for illegal music downloads; a reputation that led to its demise. In 2010, a judge closed the company after finding its creator Mark Gorton guilty of copyright infringement.
The rebirth of LimeWire
Last year, Austrian brothers and serial entrepreneurs Julian and Paul Zehetmayr, bought the LimeWire assets. Their hope is to use LimeWire’s noughties fame to attract people to a new NFT marketplace.
The new LimeWire will focus on music and allow users to buy and trade rare items. These may include limited editions, unreleased demos and digital goods. The brothers hope that the new LimeWire will make the NFT sphere more accessible to rookies. In fact, the NFT marketplace will list prices in US dollars rather than crypto. Furthermore, thanks to the new LimeWire’s partnership with Wyre, users can mint NFTs using their credit cards.
The Zehetmayrs hope the new LimeWire will attract industry professionals and artists to release music on the platform. In an effort to attract the music industry, they included Wu-Tang Clan’s manager Tareef Michael and H.E.R’s management team in their advisory board.
In an interview with CNBC, Julian Zehetmayr said, “The issue with the NFT market is that most platforms are decentralized. If 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.”
He continued, “We’ve obviously got this great mainstream brand that everybody’s nostalgic about. We thought we needed to build a real mainstream user experience as well.”
Plans for the new LimeWire
So far, the Zehetmayrs have invested in their version of LimeWire by selling their previous businesses, but plan to raise additional capital through the new LimeWire token. They revealed that it will initially be sold to private investors before becoming publicly available later in the year.
Token holders will be able to vote on changes to the NFT marketplace’s policies and determine the official LimeWire artist chart. Moreover, the Zehetmayrs plan to opt for venture capital financing later down the line.
Does the new platform stand a chance?
While the new LimeWire has the advantage of an instantly recognized name among millennials, it faces stiff competition from other NFT marketplaces. This is because there are already several music NFT marketplaces, including WishWorld and Public Pressure, competing in that sphere. Time will tell whether the LimeWire name will be enough for this nascent NFT marketplace.