ONO: China’s First Blockchain Social Network Created By Female Poker Player


ONO: China’s First Blockchain Social Network Founded By A 24 Year Old Poker Player

24 Year Old Beijing native Xu Ke is likely a prodigy. In 2013, she developed a knack for poker, and though she was not yet 21 at the time, the existence of online poker and lenient Southern California casino laws allowed her to play regularly and hone her skills in probability and risk assessment.

In 2016, after a stint creating and selling an social app, she founded Nome Lab, a Beijing-based start-up that specializes in making blockchain product and games. The money to found Nome Lab came from poker tables that Xu Ke played. She was able to use her winnings to amass bitcoins, and she sold 20,000 of them in 2014 for around $214 USD per bitcoin. With the 2 million USD+ that the bitcoin sale netted her, Nome Lab was born.

Now she is at the center of Ono, and a very new direction for social media in China.

What Is ONO?

ONO is the first global decentralized social network. From its interface, ONO offers similar services that you’d find on average social networks. Core features include messaging, in-app games, and public posts – similar to what you might find on social networks like Twitter or Facebook. But its underlying governance and reward system sets ONO apart.

Ultimately, in the nature of decentralization, ONO is governed by its users, who can vote through a referendum (a feature within the app itself) to dictate future features, how illicit content is managed, and more. At the same time, the platform rewards users that share high-quality content with ONOTs, which is ONO’s native virtual currency and can be used to buy and sell virtual goods within the platform.

Unlike any social network available today, ONO’s governance is centered around a group of 51 individuals, referred to as Super Partners, who are elected through community votes. These people are what you could consider as power users who would collectively decide on new features, how illicit content within the social network is managed, and more. At the same time, with the vision to build a community based on a reward system that incentives quality content, ONO rewards users that consistently share high performing content on their channels with ONOTs.

Is ONO An Answer To Centralized Social Networks?

Centralized social media platforms like Facebook fall into an ethical gray area. They are controlled by government regulations. They also have hand-in-glove relationships with the highest levels of Western state security agencies, like the NSA and CIA.

Whether or not user data on Xu Ke’s Ono could be used in a similar way by state authorities is an open question. What is more certain is that if state actors used a blockchain-based social media platform like Ono for their own purposes, there would be an ironclad record of their meddling.

A pile of bitcoins wasn’t the only thing that Xu Ke seems to have brought back from her exchange in California. She had this to say on how her platform is organized, “Ono is run democratically, and lets content creators retain ownership over their content and get rewarded,” Xu Ke pointed out in a tweet.

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