The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved the patent on April 28. Block.one filed with the office during May 2019.
The patent, which Block.one describes as means to incentivize positive feedback contributions among a social media community, describes a system where bidders can compete to have their profile displayed in a prime position on trending posts.
“One way that posts achieve influence is through positive community feedback,” the filing reads. “Although a user who creates content may receive personal acclaim and recognition through receiving positive feedback, those users who provide the positive feedback oftentimes receive only limited exposure.”
Patented system monetizes every social media post
The filing describes the system as “a computer-implemented method for bidding on a post in a social media platform” where “a first hash value of origin content [is stored] on a blockchain.”
While purporting to incentivize positive feedback, the system potentially monetizes every single post produced on a social media network for both the network’s operators and content creators.
The system works by first verifying the authenticity of a post’s content using blockchain technology — with hashes corresponding to all post data being stored on a distributed ledger.
Bidders will use tokens issued by the platform. Funds generated through bidding will be distributed to the post’s author, the previous higher bidder, and the platform’s administrators.
Patented system expected to be implemented on Voice
The patent will likely be implemented on Voice, Block.one’s social media network, as many similarities exist between the bidding system described and the organization of data on the platform — with Voice writing hashes pertaining to post data to a blockchain, and storing the actual post data on servers.
During March, Block.one invested $100 million in cash and $50 million in intellectual property into Voice. The investment was intended to provide Voice with the resources to operate independently of Block.One.