Former file-sharing site LimeWire to relaunch as NFT marketplace, more than a decade since shutting down

Former file-sharing site LimeWire to relaunch as NFT marketplace

March 10, 2022: -LimeWire, the defunct file-sharing website, is set to make a comeback.

The controversial service was down back in 2010, after a lengthy legal battle with the Recording Industry Association of America for the allegations of music piracy. A federal judge found the platform caused copyright infringement on a “huge scale.”

At its height, LimeWire was one of the most popular peer-to-peer file-sharing websites, which allows users to download music and different content online free of charge. LimeWire, BitTorrent, and Napster were eventually succeeded by subscription-based streaming services like Spotify and Netflix.

LimeWire has been making a comeback over a decade since it closed down, but with a twist.

The service will relaunch in May as a marketplace for nonfungible trading tokens, or NFTs, digital assets that record ownership for virtual items on the blockchain.

Austrian brothers Julian and Paul Zehetmayr bought LimeWire’s intellectual property and other assets in the previous year. They say they’ve been plans to bring the platform back ever since.

The new LimeWire will focus on music that lets users buy and trade rare items such as limited editions, unreleased demos, and digital merchandise.

The platform will list prices in U.S. dollars instead of crypto, and users will purchase tokens that use credit cards. Its payment functionality has been improved in partnership with the start-up Wyre.

The company is counting on an accessible approach to NFTs and an advisory board that includes the rap group Wu-Tang Clan, Tareef Michael to attract users.

“The issue with the NFT market is that platforms are decentralized,” Julian Zehetmayr told CNBC. “If you look at bitcoin, all the exchanges are making it easy to buy, trade, and sell bitcoin. There’s no one doing the same in the NFT space.”

“We’ve got this great mainstream brand that is nostalgic about,” he added. “We thought it needs to build a real mainstream user experience as well.”

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