Over the past several years we’ve seen a number of social media platforms built on blockchain technology. These platforms, like Steemit and Hive and Synereo, all advocate for data-privacy and free speech, which is great, but their features and messages haven’t seemed to resonate enough with the broader crypto-community.

Plus, the success of Steemit has meant many imitators have come along to bask in the shadows of its success. That means there are now so many different platforms that many wonder “what’s the point of having so many platforms that are seemingly so similar”.

Another notable problem with many of these platforms is the lack of features and functions that really promote user interaction. Instead these platforms are built solely around the notion of benefits for the individual rather than creating a community building platform.

Social Media Blockchain

Blockchain Social Media Apps

The end result is that none of the platforms has been able to reach critical mass, and there has been no clear winner in the decentralized social media space.

However there is one platform that believes they have the answer. Torum is built on the notion that there is one thing that interests and draws cryptocurrency users more than any other. That’s cryptocurrency and blockchain technology of course.

By focusing on this discovery Torum is working on making itself the very first crypto-focused social media platform. By placing the focus on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency Torum is forming a community that’s primarily made up of cryptocurrency users. And they believe that as that community grows it will create a network effect that draws even more cryptocurrency enthusiasts and blockchain projects to the Torum platform.

Torum Main

The main Torum interface. Image via Torum.com

Torum has also distinguished itself by eschewing the traditional blogging platform approach and creating a platform that has a better interface for users, and improved scalability for its features and functions. Torum’s development team believes that as it grows it can easily scale and grow its ecosystem, and that this scalability will also allow it to easily integrate new features that benefit its crypto-enthusiast users.

The entire platform is driven through the utility of the native XTM token, which was created as an ERC-20 token, and will now be issued on the Binance Smart Chain as well. The XTM token has many different use cases on the platform, which we’ll go into more detail about later in this review.

Already there are plans for a community NFT marketplace, a mining simulator, a mobile app, and a DeFi platform. With the project currently still in private beta anyone joining now can consider themselves an early adopter, and as we have all learned it’s the early adopters that reap the greatest benefits when a project becomes popular.

Torum’s Beginnings

The idea for Torum came about all the way back in 2018. The following year the founders were able to secure enough funding to get the development seriously underway, and by July 2020 the platform launched in its private beta. Since that time it has been growing steadily, and is soon expected to move into public beta.

Much of the current enthusiasm for the platform is early adopters who are looking to get their hands on some of the XTM tokens before they are issued on the mainnet. Of course there are also those who are simply that enthusiastic over crypto and just want to be a part of the Torum platform from its earliest days.

Torum Growth

Torum has shown impressive growth. Image via Torum.com

With a base in Malaysia the Torum team has grown to include over a dozen talented individuals, all working together to create a hub where blockchain and crypto enthusiasts can come together.

The stated goal of the Torum team is to address the four following dilemmas in the crypto space:

  1. Information Asymmetry – Information and knowledge in the blockchain space is ironically not evenly and equally shared across communities. This has led to the rise of various scams and schemes throughout the crypto ecosystem.
  2. Difficulty of Creating Exposure – One of the highest hurdles for many blockchain projects is creating awareness in the industry and particularly among the user base.
  3. Segregation of Community in Different Social Applications – With so many social media channels it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep the crypto-community connected. This segregation leads to massively increased costs in terms of time, money, and other resources, and the end result is disengagement by the community.
  4. Lack of Use Case and Token Utility – Too many blockchain projects are solely focused on the hype surrounding them to lift the market value of the tokens, even though they have little or no utility.
XTM Utility

Some of the many use cases for XTM tokens. Image via Torum.com

Torum believes it is the solution to these four problems. Through the use of a social media platform the team believes it will be able to create a crypto-ecosystem that can connect blockchain and crypto projects and communities from all across the globe.

Why use Social Media?

The Torum team outlines three major reasons why they chose a social media platform as the ideal way to address the major issues facing the crypto ecosystem.

Network Effect & Critical Mass Effect

As we’ve seen during the crypto bear market, the failure to capture significant market and community interest is the primary reason that most blockchain projects die or simply fade away. Torum believes this can be avoided by building an entire ecosystem on top of the social media platform.

A social media platform should be able to maintain community engagement in a number of ways and by bringing together all the cryptocurrency enthusiasts worldwide into one ecosystem Torum will build a platform that will reach the necessary critical mass to become self-sustaining.

Scalable Business Model

As we have already seen from other social media platforms they are both scalable and offer multiple streams of revenue. At this point the Torum team has identified 10 different utility features and potential revenue streams, which we will go into greater detail about below.

Torum Social Media

Just a few reasons to choose Torum for social media. Image via Torum.com

As we also know, the utility of the XTM token and the revenue being generated by the ecosystem will accelerate at a compounding rate as the Torum community grows.  This means the more revenue and utility that the ecosystem can accumulate, the bigger the incentive and value channeled back to every XTM HODLer. The social media platform is the scalability factor for the network.

Synergized Amplification Factor

The integration of a social media platform expands the synergizing potential among all the components of Torum’s ecosystem. Below are some examples from the Torum whitepaper of how a social media platform contributes a compounding value-adding effect:

  1. Artists can spread their artworks from Torum NFT Marketplace and promote them directly on social media.
  2. The community can gain access to a variety of DeFi services like token swapping and liquidity farming on Torum Finance without involving any non-ecosystem projects.
  3. Project supporters can maximize their chance of voting a new “Favourite Coin” successfully through “Promoted Post” and “Ad Slots”.

XTM Token and Tokenomics

XTM is the native token of Torum. Initially conceived as an ERC-20 token, the team has instead decided that XTM will be released as a BEP-20 token on the Binance Smart Chain, with a bridge enabled for cross-chain swaps on the Ethereum blockchain. The total supply of XTM will be 1 billion tokens, with distribution planned as shown below:

XTM Allocation

The Torum team is allocated 25% of the 1 billion XTM tokens. Image via Torum whitepaper.

As mentioned previously, token utility is one of the problems facing crypto projects, particularly when the market enters a bear period. To address this issue Torum has created XTM as the primary medium of exchange across the entire ecosystem. The XTM token is designed to be the backbone of the ecosystem, creating a consistent value-driven network for all XTM holders. The second that XTM is reflected in a Torum wallet it can be used for any of the ten following purposes:

  1. Supporting the community with crypto-themed gifts. Support Feature is an innovative tipping mechanism that involves purchasing and sending different crypto-themed gifts to other users in the community using XTM.
  2. Buying & Selling in Torum NFT Marketplace. The Torum NFT Marketplace is planned to become a one-stop gateway for the Torum community to list and trade NFTs using XTM.
  3. Gain access to DeFi-related services on Torum Finance. Torum Finance is envisioned as a DeFi Portal that will provide the Torum community with the ability to use XTM for a variety of DeFi services such as lending, staking, farming and token swapping.
  4. Boosting a Post or Thread Content. Boosting posts and threads allows Torum members to promote their post or thread on top of the home page of the community by spending XTM.
  5. Bidding Advertisement Slots. Advertisement Slots are precious spots that anyone can bid to showcase his/her project, business, NFTs or other crypto-oriented services using XTM.
  6. Performing in-game purchase in Mining Simulator. The Mining Simulator is an in-house developed game that allows the Torum community to perform mining in exchange for 10% of the ecosystem’s quarterly XTM profit. XTM is spent to upgrade their mining farm (mining environment, mining rigs, power supply, ventilation system, etc.) in the game. Mining Profit = (Your hash stake / Total mining hash stake) * 10% of the ecosystem’s quarterly profit.

    Torum Utility

    The many use cases of Torum. Image via Torum whitepaper.

  7. Buying & Selling in Animated Emote Complex. The Animated Emote Complex is a mini Marketplace for the Torum community to buy and sell community-made emote packs using XTM.
  8. Organizing Airdrop Events. Airdrop Organizer is a specialized feature that is designed for external crypto projects to airdrop their tokens or coins directly to the Torum community. This feature can only be unlocked using XTM.
  9. Subscribing to Premium Features. Premium Subscription allows both ordinary members and projects to unlock specialized community building features and functionalities using XTM.
  10. Voting New Favorite Coin Initiative. Favorite Coin Initiative is a community-centric feature for the community to vote for the most popular cryptocurrency to be included in the Favorite Coin list on Torum. Every Torum member can choose to display his/her favorite coins from over 100 choices in the profile settings.

Torum is only beginning to scratch the surface of token utility and has plans to continue developing and adding additional concepts into XTM. One such is a governance feature, which will add considerable utility for XTM holders.

Token Emission

The emission of XTM tokens increases over time. Image via Torum whitepaper.

Earning XTM

There are a number of ways you can earn XTM, but by far the easiest is to simply log into Torum each day and collect the daily mission reward for logging in. That will get you 7 XTM through the course of the week, and at the end of the week you’ll also be eligible to complete the weekly mission “Stay active for 7 days consecutively” and you’ll receive an additional 40 XTM.

There are other missions available, but those will take a bit more time and effort when compared with the daily and weekly login missions. Of course every XTM earned is far more valuable than the time spent on one of the centralized social media platforms, where you’re simply there to help them earn advertising money.

Missions

Torum has four types of missions. We already touched on the daily and weekly missions. In addition there are also special missions and one-time missions. All of the missions have the same goals:

  • Increase usage of Torum
  • Increase interaction between members
Missions

Get free crypto for completing Torum Missions. Image via Medium.com

All of the missions come with XTM rewards, and spending your time on a platform that rewards you for your attention and interaction is certainly better than simply wasting your time on Facebook or Twitter.

Content Creation

One of the similarities between Torum and Facebook is the personal news feed. Here you can scroll through and see what your friends on the platform have been sharing or writing. If you find something worthy you can reward the creator with XTM tokens.

Of course this also works the other way around. When your followers see something you’ve posted they like they can also reward you with XTM tokens.

Community Building

Torum includes the feature of clans, which are groups of similarly minded individuals working together to make their Torum experience better or more profitable. Anyone can start a crypto-related clan and other Torum users can then join the clan. The more active the clan is the more opportunity you’ll have to use it to earn XTM.

Clans

Clans are just one more way to interact and earn XTM at Torum. Image via BagofIncome.com

Being a Torum Mentor

As a Torum member you always have the chance to invite others to the platform and to be rewarded if they accept your invitation and join. Currently Torum rewards you with 75 XTM for each member you refer to the platform.

Right now (April 2021) there isn’t much to be done with the XTM tokens other than rewarding others on the platform, but soon enough you’ll have plenty of other options to spend your XTM, or invest them to earn even more XTM. These include the planned Mining Simulator game, the NFT Marketplace, and the DeFi Platform

Ethereum to Binance Smart Chain

Initially it was planned for the XTM token to be issued on the Ethereum blockchain as an ERC-20 token. However times are always changing, and Torum is adaptable enough to change along with the changing times.

As a result of this, the team at Torum made the decision to migrate the entire ecosystem to the Binance Smart Chain and to issue BEP-20 tokens on that chain. The move is being made to address the rising gas costs on the Ethereum network as Torum plans on moving into DeFi and NFT.

Torum Ecosystem

The complete Torum ecosystem will encompass much of the blockchain ecosystem. Image via Torum whitepaper.

The Torum team believes that adding DeFi and NFT applications will enrich the entire Torum experience, and provide immense value to the Torum ecosystem.

Why Binance Smart Chain (BSC)?

There is one primary reason given for the move from Ethereum to Binance Smart Chain and that reason is the cost of transactions.

To put it plainly, the transaction costs on the Ethereum network have become prohibitive for many users, and the mainstream adoption of NFTs and DeFi applications is being hampered by this. Torum sees the need to avoid this friction and is moving to BSC as a way to lower transaction costs significantly, increase transaction speeds, and decrease the friction experienced by its users.

Below is a list of advantages that BSC hold over Ethereum:

BSC Advantages

There are good reasons for Torum to move to Binance Smart Chain. Image via Torum Whitepaper

Torum NFT Marketplace

As the NFT space grows in popularity and sales increase exponentially it only makes sense to include NFT sales as a part of the Torum ecosystem. Even though the NFT marketplace can be considered as in its infancy, the Torum team felt that adopting the new trend as part of their platform would be the sensible thing to do.

According to Ah Go, the CEO of Torum,

The rise of DeFi and NFT is a perfect catalyst that brings on board a wave of newcomers into the space and Torum is definitely their ideal starting point.

Torum NFT Marketplace Features

The First Ever Social-infused NFT Marketplace – Connecting the NFT marketplace with the Torum social media platform provides new use cases that can potentially accelerate the adoption of NFT. With Torum artists are able to more easily increase the exposure of their work through their Torum profile and posts.

Mutually Beneficial User Traffic – As the number of Torum users grows they each become potential NFT marketplace users as well. This will be increasingly beneficial for the NFT marketplace and for all the artists and NFT collectors.

The Integration of XTM – The NFT Marketplace on Torum will use the XTM token as its primary means of exchange, further expanding the utility and demand for XTM.

NFT Marketplace

What the Torum Marketplace might look like when launched. Image via Torum whitepaper.

Affordable Fees – Since Torum is switching to the Binance Smart Chain the transaction costs associated with the NFT marketplace will be significantly lower than for the NFTs being offered on the Ethereum blockchain. These affordable fees will help spur further adoption of NFTs and the NFT marketplace.

Hybrid Decentralized Model – A unique balance to save users from unnecessary blockchain fees and improve the user experience (UX) for crypto veterans and newcomers.

Programmable NFTs – Torum will enable the creation of unique NFTs that can be customized from scratch with an easy built-in editor for Torum users. Every user can only own one exclusive NFT that will be showcased as an avatar-like biography on their Torum profile. These NFTs are tradable and can further be added on with a wide range of cosmetics and the art elements in each NFT differs automatically according to the user’s activeness on Torum social media platform, e.g., number of followers, Shards received, join date, Dusts received, etc. In short, each programmable NFT represents the crypto identity of everyone in the Torum ecosystem.

Note: The complete documentation of Torum NFT Marketplace is expected to be available by early May.

Torum Finance DeFi Portal

As the total value locked in the DeFi economy has eclipsed $50 billion everyone, including the Torum team, can see that the DeFi trend is here to stay and can be expected to see continued growth. There’s even the possibility that it will replace certain centralized finance products in the future.

 Torum Finance – An automated market making platform built on top of BSC with other DeFi functionalities

Torum Finance Features

Fair Governance Token Distribution – The Torum Finance platform will also introduce a new XTF token that will be the governance token of the platform. This BEP-20 token will only be made available to the liquidity providers on Torum Finance. Initially it will be awarded to liquidity providers of the XTM/BNB pool on PancakeSwap.

Later XTF will be awarded as a farming reward on Torum Finance when version 2.0 is released. At that point anyone who is staking XTF will be able to vote on governance proposals. Voting power calculations and conditions for voting are yet to be determined.

Torum Finance

A mock-up of the Torum Finance portal. Image via Torum whitepaper.

Cross-chain Swapping – Torum will create an interoperability bridge to facilitate XTF/XTM swaps on the Ethereum and BSC blockchains. The cross-chain flexibility will provide the community to utilize XTF and XTM on different networks interchangeably.

NFT Staking – A set of 5 tier-based stake-able NFTs will be offered for purchase in Torum’s upcoming public sale in the Q2 of 2021. By staking the NFT on Torum Finance, liquidity providers will be able to enjoy larger farming multiplier rewards, ranging from 1.05x to 1.25x.

Interaction Farming Model – Torum Finance will be part of the entire Torum ecosystem and as such will integrate the use of Shard and Dust points accumulated on the social media platform. The shard integration is a creative gamification element that stimulates the growth of the community and expands the utility model of XTM.

Liquidity Burning Mechanism – Torum Finance will have a 0.3% token swapping fee and the revenue generated through this fee will be used to buyback and burn XTF tokens, thus keeping supply in check.

Note: The product highlights and concepts of Torum Finance are still in preliminary phase and are subject to change according to market conditions, community preferences and prima facie conditions.

The Torum Team

The Torum team consists of 18 members who are scattered geographically between Malaysia, India, and Turkey. The five co-founders of the project are:

Torum Team

Founding members of the Torum team. Image via Torum.com

  • Ah Go – Ah is the CEO of Torum and is also a certified member of the Malaysia Mensa Society. Prior to co-founding Torum he was the founder of Cryptopedia and the Head of Chinese Communications for the ACCESS Blockchain Association in Malaysia.
  • Alwin Chang – Alwin is a co-founder and the Chief Design Officer at Torum, and this is his first official position in the blockchain space.
  • Jayson Tan – Jayson is a co-founder and the Chief Marketing Officer at Torum. Prior to founding Torum he was Head of Community Outreach at ACCESS Blockchain Association in Malaysia. He was also a co-founder of Cryptopedia along with CEO Ah Go.
  • Teddy Tan – Teddy is another co-founder of Torum and he holds the position of Chief Finance Officer. This is his first position as he helped to found Torum right out of university.
  • Nelthan Ng – Nelthan is the fifth co-founder of Torum and is the Ops Manager at Torum.

Conclusion

The Torum project is undeniably very ambitious, and it is off to a good start, however there are many unfinished features already, such as the Mining Simulation and Premium Features, and the team is already announcing they will add an NFT Marketplace and a DeFi platform. All while migrating the entire ecosystem to the Binance Smart Chain. With 18 team members.

I would never shoot down optimism and confidence, but maybe the team has more on their plate then they can comfortably swallow? Perhaps some of their ambitious ideas need to go on the back burner while they continue to flesh out the actual social media platform and the features that go along with it.

Or maybe they will go on a hiring spree so they can accelerate development progress. That would work as well if they had one team for core development, another small team for NFT Marketplace development, and a third small team for DeFi development.

Of course everything remains in private beta as well, so maybe there’s no rush.

I also take issue at the development team taking 25% of the total coin supply for themselves. It seems excessive and unnecessary.

I really want to like this project. As an early-ish adopter of Steemit, I would truly like to see something that turns out better, and that serves the community better. I think Torum could be that project. It’s certainly a step in the right direction, but at the moment it looks as if it might be a victim of the same over-promise and under-deliver that plagued Steemit for so long.

Let’s hope for the best with Torum.

Featured Image via Shutterstock

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

Posted by Steve Walters

Steve has been writing for the financial markets for the past 7 years and during that time has developed a growing passion for cryptocurrencies.