W e are out to achieve a mission," says 30-year-old cryptocurrency entrepreneur Nader Al-Naji, holding court over plates of rare steak at a private room in Quality Meats, one of those Midtown Manhattan temples of red-meat excess. That directive, he says, is to find an optimal blend of social media and blockchain technology. "I feel like money and social together can compete," says Al-Naji, who's in the mood for a filet-quality fete after commencing on this earlier in the year. In April, he launched BitClout, a site part Twitter, part crypto marketplace. Its users post while minting their own personally branded meme coins, their value tied to nothing more than the internet's perception of them. For instance, the billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya is on BitClout, where Chamath Coins have attained a total market value of nearly $2 million. More controversially, BitClout also allows users to trade coins tied to people with no registered accounts—Elon Musk hasn't joined, but Elon Coins nonetheless remain the most valuable asset on BitClout, worth almost $30 million—prompting criticism that users could profit off high-profile individuals without their permission. (As with most things crypto, the legalities are murky.) To ward off detractors, Al-Naji used a… Read full this story
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