LimeWire, ready to relaunch, makes a hard pivot to NFTs
LimeWire is back from the dead.
Yes, this LimeWire – the peer-to-peer file sharing software where unauthorized software, illegal music downloads and computer viruses flowed freely until it was discontinued in 2010.
According to a press release, the platform will be relaunched in May as a “ready-to-use digital collectibles marketplace.” Basically, Limewire 2.0 will sell NFTs.
Instead of facilitating 50 Cent’s free downloads Get rich or die trying, the reincarnated site will feature digital rarities like never-before-seen demos, exclusive live recordings, and behind-the-scenes content. At launch, it will focus on music-related collectibles and eventually expand to art and entertainment.
Users won’t even need a crypto wallet to get in on the action – to lower barriers to entry (let’s face it, buying an NFT isn’t the easiest task) , LimeWire will allow purchases via credit card, bank transfer and fiat gateways (think Binance, Coinbase and similar apps), thanks to a partnership with Wyre.
And, unlike LimeWire’s original modus operandi, the new and improved platform will work directly with artists to create and sell content – ironic enough for a platform that has already drawn the ire of the RIAA.
“The biggest challenge with digital collectibles and the broader crypto market in general is that it’s really limited to a small group of sophisticated users,” said Paul Zehetmayr, co-CEO of LimeWire.
“There are already big players in the market, but the barrier to entry is still too high for widespread adoption.”
While LimeWire’s relaunch probably won’t stir the hearts of Gen Z, the nostalgia factor for millennials is huge. In fact, it’s quite trippy to witness the heroic fall of a childhood touchstone, only to see it resurrected as the complete antithesis of what it once was.
As Twitter rightly pointed out: can you really call it LimeWire unless your NFT downloads come with a free virus?