Trybe review

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Reviewed: 31 January 2019
Trybe is a social media platform built for sharing news and user created content, with a focus on the EOS ecosystem as well as the cryptocurrency space in general. Trybe uses its own EOS based token known as TRYBE to reward users who use the site, with content creators able to earn TRYBE tokens when their posts are rated well by the community, and TRYBE is also offered for other interactions on the platform. These monetary rewards for using the platform is the main draw of Trybe.
Name Trybe
Platform
EOS
Token of interest
Supporting wallets
Category
Users 24h
Users 7d
Overall rating:
3 / 5
User experience
★★★★☆
Token integration
★☆☆☆☆
Team
★★★★☆
Community
★★★☆☆
Security
★★★☆☆

How to use

1.    Install (or access) Scatter (​https://get-scatter.com​). The desktop version is recommended.
2.    Set up a new EOS account (or use your existing one by importing private keys).
3.    Fund the account with EOS, either from another account or from an exchange
4.    Use your email to create a Trybe account, link your EOS and Trybe accounts, then click on ‘New Post’ at the top of the screen to make a post. Alternatively, use your Trybe account to comment on and rate other people’s posts.

FUNCTIONALITY

The main page has a short video explaining Trybe to new visitors, as well as a long page with lots of graphics advertising the site, pointing new users in the directions they need to go to interact with the platform, and contains text further summarising various different points about Trybe. There’s a clickable sidebar containing a huge amount of different links related to Trybe, pointing users in the direction of specific types of article categories, the TRYBE token sales, other information related to the site, advertising, metrics, and legal details. The top of the screen allows you to navigate the site to the token sale or the different article categories, and drop down menus next to your Trybe account avatar point you to different screens which help you manage your account. Such as checking notifications, bookmarks, searching the site, making new posts, checking on your friends, editing your profile, and logging out among many other options. This bar remains at the top of the screen at all times, so you can click it even if you have scrolled down a long page.

Clicking on an article category leads to a page where one can scroll down a list of articles. There’s a main focus on crypto news and opinion pieces, but options for other technologies, business, gaming, and many others also exist on the site. There’s a larger focus on professional categories on the site, but the actual articles themselves are often written and interacted with in a casual way using colloquial language.

The layout of the website is very dense, fitting as much information as possible into the space of the webpage. However, the text, buttons, and images can be quite large, meaning that despite the density of design one has to scroll down the webpage a fair amount. The articles themselves also have wide margins with blank space in them, and the comments section also has a lot of empty space between comments, and poor visual indicators to show if a comment is part of a reply chain or separate from each other, as a comment replying to another will merely be shoved a little to the right.

TOKEN MECHANICS

TRYBE Tokens can be earned for free through the website by posting an article that gets a lot of positive ratings. 50 Trybe tokens must also be paid every time a user makes a post, with the expectation being that these tokens and more will be paid back to the user through upvotes. Trybe uses a 5 star rating system. Unlike a blockchain-based social media website like Steemit, however, actions such as rating, posting, and commenting aren’t tied to actions on the blockchain, instead the tokens are all issued to your account. Scatter can be linked to your account, but as of now, it cannot be used to transfer your TRYBE tokens into real tokens useable on your EOS account. This essentially means that currently, TRYBE tokens are held at ransom by Trybe, and even once they are issuable to your EOS account, they exist only to be sold and have no utility as a blockchain token, and only have a use as a fictional number on your Trybe account. This speeds up the process of using Trybe and it means that users can sign up to Trybe and use it without requiring an EOS account, however. Trybe has also airdropped real TRYBE tokens to actual EOS accounts as well.
Trybe occasionally hold airdrop events where more TRYBE tokens are airdropped to TRYBE holders proportional to the amount of TRYBE they already hold. These airdrops are done to encourage holding the token rather than selling them. TRYBE is also having a presale wherein EOS can be used to purchase TRYBE at a rate of 1 TRYBE to $0.01, which is less than the current price of TRYBE on exchanges. However, these tokens will remain staked and non transferable until July 1st 2019, after which point 10% of the purchased tokens will be made tradeable for 6 months afterwards.
TRYBE is a token that will have an annual inflation of up to 2 Billion when the beta period for Trybe is over. This inflation will be equal to 10% of the increase in active users for that year. 50% of the inflation tokens will go to the Trybe foundation, and the remaining tokens will be paid out to staked token holders, proportional to how much Trybe they are holding. Staked Trybe will remain staked for a minimum period of 30 days, and it also takes 3 days to unstake any Trybe tokens.
In the Whitepaper, Trybe also proposes a second token, KYN, which will essentially replace the TRYBE token as the main utility token on the network, with the TRYBE tokens themselves taking a backseat, and will ‘continue as a currency representing a store of value in the Trybe infrastructure and network’. KYN will have hyperinflation, with 10,000 new tokens minted per new Trybe user. (presumably issued to the new user themselves) Once the KYN token is created, staked TRYBE will begin to receive rewards in KYN instead of TRYBE. However, there is no mention in the Whitepaper regarding how further TRYBE tokens (which will presumably retain its annual inflation after the creation of KYN) will be distributed to stakers or the Trybe foundation.

Issues

The issue with social media tokens such as TRYBE and Steem is that they have no value outside of being sold for fiat or other tokens. Steem offers users the ability to turn their Steem into Steem power, (a process similar to staking) and the more Steem power one owns, the greater the value of their vote when they reward. This allows users with more Steem power to reward content they like, as well as receive higher content rewards. This means that even though the short term incentive of Steem is to sell, Steem power gives users another short term incentive that allows them to receive more money right away, thus discouraging selling.
The staking mechanisms of the TRYBE tokens are built purely around long term incentives, however, as users are only rewarded additional TRYBE tokens over a period of months. Staking TRYBE tokens has no short term benefits, as upvotes are ratings are equal across the site. While I prefer the fact that rich or early users can’t control who gets paid the most like on Steemit, the issue with this is that TRYBE token has no short-term utility outside of selling them. This creates a massive sell pressure, which combined with the annual inflation, has me believing that the value of a TRYBE holder’s staked tokens will only go down over time, despite huge amounts of extra tokens being added to their stack. There is also no buy pressure for TRYBE, outside of speculation and wanting to stake the tokens. The difference between TRYBE and a gambling platform is that gambling platforms reward users in EOS rather than more of their own token, EOS being a token that has actual utility. They can afford to pay the users EOS because actual value is being pumped into the platform, and the dApp is making tangible profits.
Steem has similar issued to TRYBE, but it has more potential for growth because Steem Power allows users to gain power and influence on the platform immediately, so there’s more of a buying pressure on Steem and Steem Power, which can also be spent to directly promote your work on the platform. However TRYBE offers has no use on the Trybe platform itself, and the website could easily function just the same without the token. It would probably be easier to reward users in EOS, Bitcoin, or even fiat itself, as those currencies have utility outside of the Trybe platform.
The KYN token also seems to see no mention outside of the Whitepaper, and it feels like the implementation of this token could have disastrous consequences and potential backlash, as there’s likely many Trybe users who haven’t read the Whitepaper fully. The TRYBE token can at least claim to offer some value through air drops despite the token’s misaligned incentives, however, rewarding users in KYN could, in my opinion, be not too dissimilar to rewarding users with nothing at all. As the token inflates at a rate of 10,000 per new user, has no use outside of selling it, and does not offer users additional power on the platform or additional staking rewards for holding, the value of the token is likely to stay low and only decrease over time. This in turn will make the TRYBE token more worthless, as people won’t be earning more TRYBE for staking, (unless they receive TRYBE in addition to KYN, however the whitepaper clearly states ‘instead of’) and TRYBE won’t be issued as a reward on the platform, still won’t offer users direct power (or some other benefit) over the content on the platform itself, and will only be useful for selling.
Trybe’s community is a place of constant self promotion and sycophantic behaviour, much like Steemit. Since making an account 4 months ago, I have received 3 followers and 12 friend requests despite not having made a single post or comment on the platform. These people do that because they want to be followed and liked back, and be made more visible to the community. The majority of the users are only interested in gaining more attention for themselves. Now, I will emphasise that Trybe a friendly place filled with helpful people, and I won’t say that these individuals are intending to be actively malicious. The problem isn’t with the people themselves, the issue is that the platform itself incentivises certain behaviours. The majority of the internet may be filled with hateful comments, but the benefit of those comments is that they are at least honest, because those sites incentivise honest interaction. Trybe’s current structure is that of a place that rewards dishonesty. The bottom line is that anyone with content worth consuming should already be getting paid on currently existing platforms, platforms that don’t need to pay their customers to use them.
Lastly, that TRYBE tokens aren’t directly issued to your EOS account makes the platform feel more centralised, like the numbers are imaginary and directly held at ransom, or that my unsecure Trybe account may be hacked and my tokens transferred to a different EOS account. A minor issue, but it would be appreciated if there was a way for Trybe tokens to be directly issued to and staked from your EOS account without the platform itself being a middleman.

FINAL VERDICT

As a social media platform Trybe is perfectly functional, and for now it can offer decent returns to posters. A large benefit is that it doesn’t require an EOS account up front, however to get value from the  However, token economics is a new and complex issue that will probably require a lot more iterations of different models to get right. I can very much understand the need for a platform or a reward structure like Trybe’s, as getting paid on other platforms isn’t always reliable, and there are genuinely good content creators who can’t get the recognition or the financial compensation they deserve because other websites don’t promote or incentivise their content. This might be because their content is niche or perhaps even offensive to common tastes, or their content may be overshadowed by content creators who aim for mass appeal. An open decentralised platform that’s censorship resistant and which can reliably reward users without need for advertisements is attractive to just about everyone.  However, Trybe goes too far in the other direction, implementing a token reward structure that encourages content which would never need to be censored or promoted in the first place.

The current and proposed future implementations of its token reward structures does not have long term sustainability, and without the token reward structure, right no TRYBE does not offer content or tools for content creators that can’t be found elsewhere. TRYBE has a good heart, and it would be absolutely wonderful to see any project in the blockchain space evolve and succeed. There’s no need to advocate for projects to fail, only that they are
re-thought and constantly improved.

User experience
★★★★☆
Token integration
★☆☆☆☆
Team
★★★★☆
Community
★★★☆☆
Security
★★★☆☆

Disclaimer

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