BeinCrypto spoke to Patrick McConlogue, Chief Executive Officer of the Overline Network. He discusses the future of the media space, where decentralization determines our content.
Overline Network is a cross-chain trading platform with big ambitions. It claims the title as the “world’s only mineable multichain.” Its main proposition is to provide the interoperability lacking from the blockchain space as simply as possible.
However, it’s not just interested in finance. Earlier this year, Borderless Services Inc., the lead maintainer and holding group for Overline offered $700 million to buy Forbes.
This is part of a grander plan to bring the media and crypto together, resultantly disrupting the current media-audience relationship and status quo.
Starting with wireless communication
A key element of McConlogue and Overline’s plans for the future centers on a piece of hardware.
As described by their website, this is “a secure wireless device for uncensorable trading and communications without an internet or cellular connection.”
While McConlogue did not explain any intricate details of this device on the record, its purpose is to remove barriers to entry into crypto, like the need for internet access. This is especially key for emerging markets.
As expressed by McConlogue’s specificity on detail and the “coming soon” note on Overline’s website, this era of wireless communication is still on the horizon. However, this kind of access is important for the media landscape McConlogue sees for the future.
“TV is terrible”
When it comes to media, McConlogue taps into the clear downturn content production and consumption is currently experiencing.
“Human attention hasn’t been monetized correctly yet. The only way that it’s monetized is through ads,” he says.
As such, he imagines a world where your attention is valued, not just existentially but rather financially.
“Imagine that every time that you watched something that was actually educational, you earned credit for it. So rather than only consuming and not getting anything from it, the first thing that we’re doing is letting media companies tag their content and then award people for basically allowing people to prove that they may or may know something about a topic,” he says.
In turn, he sees this upending the current weight held by those who insight the most outrage or hold followers as the biggest count of credibility.
“The way to make the internet better is to first start with [people saying] ‘hey, I know a little bit about this. I can prove it. I can prove it because Sky did a special on oil rigs and I saw all six pieces.’ So by letting people earn credits for watching things, you can even do really interesting stuff,” he says.
As such, this is where the interest in media from a multichain exchange comes in. McConlogue’s aim, through moves like the Forbes bid, is to bring the ability to easily shift the media culture away from poor advertising algorithms and media built for hype rather than value.
Building from within, not without
In most of the crypto world, the idea is not to change the system but rather build a new one. When it comes to his goal of changing media, McConlogue sees introducing crypto into legacy media as an easier path.
“So coin founders believe that it’s good enough that their coin exists and that’s not the case. That might have been the case in 2015, like you’re bringing value to the world simply because you’re recording or because you do staking or whatever it is. That’s not going to work anymore, and it just doesn’t work. In general. It’s actually much harder. You have to be the underlying thing. Something heavy, something big,” he says.
With this ethos, he sees introducing a coin into a legacy media house as an easier way to bring the benefits of decentralization to long centralized businesses. By building on the “heavy” influence and space these companies already take up.
“When you introduce a coin inside of a company, it’s awesome. It’s super fast. Everyone’s suddenly on the same page. Like that’s a nice plan. Let’s go do something with it,” he says.
“The decentralized world is a fixing solution and it’s only touched finance. So we know that if you can touch a whole new category, there’s just so many things you can do,” he says.
Enabling value for everyone
A big factor in these changes that McConlogue envisions is the vital issue of access. It is one thing to imagine a future where users earn tokens and another to implement it effectively.
In some form, this has already been tried with the current technology available. Token journalism was one of the earliest ideas proposed for the blockchain, especially during the 2017 ICO boom.
For example, in 2018, Civil Media began as one of these early blockchain media companies. It aimed to allow journalists to build their own independent newsrooms. It shut down in 2020 after failing to achieve its goals of providing truth and financial stability to the sector.
For McConlogue, this is where the hardware aspect of Overline becomes a game-changer. Acting as a combined “wireless miner” and mesh network, it provides more than just releasing a coin.
“The wireless side of it is the reason the [decentralized] economic model works. If you’re running one of these nodes, you’re at a point where everyone is getting their news and making their trades,” he explains.
“I’m sure you’ve heard of Binance and FTX. Those businesses are making all the money. We can take that and share it with our little media network because all of our fees and routing fees don’t go to us as a centralized company. They go to our people holding these Overline nodes,” he says.
“So it’s not enough to be a coin anymore. You have to be an economic system.”
A future prospect in the wings
Overall, building a token-based blockchain media empire may serve to help an industry that has been suffering the consequences of Web 2.0’s rise for some time.
Whoever provides the solution to declining revenues, misinformation creep, and audience interest and participation is likely the next king-maker in the evolution of media.
While McConlogue and Overline have the ambition, until the hardware is released and some tangible changes made to the likes of Forbes, it remains a multichain trading platform with big dreams.