According to The Ambia Fund, the parent company of Belacam, the company received a $150k investment from Mark Galant, the founder of GAIN Capital and Forex.com. Although this investment is small in comparison to multi-million-dollar ICOs, Galant’s involvement in the project suggests that it is worth looking at.
Belacam is positioning itself as a cryptocurrency-based competitor to Instagram. Users may publish their pictures to the photo-sharing website to earn likes that are worth automated micropayments from other users on the platform. When one user likes another user’s photo, a few cents worth of Bela (approximately $0.05 to $0.10) are transferred from the first user to the second user’s account. The second user may then use the funds to like other users’ content, or may choose to withdraw the funds.
Currently, Belacam has 3,000 beta users, and they claim that people are willing to use this payment model to like one another’s pictures. In addition, users are able to comment, follow one another and browse a personal feed. Future plans include a mobile app, new functionality and streamlining the monetization architecture.
The picture-sharing platform is scheduled to go live to the public on July 20, 2018. Galant’s investment will be used to promote the platform to a large number of potential users. Previously, Galant grew his company to over a $1 billion valuation. His company released its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, and Forex.com is projected to process $3 trillion in retail forex volume in 2018.
Galant stated that he weighed the experience of the team, and the potential for growth in this segment of the social media space, when making his decision to invest. The cryptocurrency market as a whole took a dip, but it’s recovering well and the timing of Belacam’s release may be in sync with this renewed growth and interest. The Bela token reached a $22 million market cap earlier in 2018, but is currently only a fraction of that amount. The Ambia Fund CEO, Tyler Marx attributes this to a 2017 cryptocurrency bubble that “was driven by speculation.” Now, the bubble has arguably subsided and most of the investors who remain are likely in it for the long term. As such, Marx argues that the next crypto bull run will be driven by people who see the actual utility of crypto in everyday life, rather than speculative people who want to make a quick buck.
Looking at the success of crypto-monetization on such content platforms as d.tube and steemit.com, it’s easy to see how a model like Belacam may become successful. The crypto-backed likes are intuitive to people who are used to voting on social content on other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. In much the same way as numerous Youtube users and creators have migrated over to d.tube, Instagram users may soon find themselves on Belacam instead. It should be noted that the migration from Youtube to other platforms was driven in part by changes to Youtube’s monetization policies. This does not appear to be the case with Instagram, however Belacam may be monetized in some way, where Instagram may not.