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I saw today that outside investors put millions into the Minds social network. I thought dapps had no real way of making money? What are the investors actually investing in? -the website that wraps the blockchain data? Does anyone actually own the data Minds displays? Couldn't anybody just replicate Minds considering it is open source?

I guess I am just wondering where the value in a dapp comes from that someone would invest in it?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Richard Horrocks, alberto, Achala Dissanayake, Linmao Song, Majd TL Aug 22 at 19:24

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There are at least two sides two this:

1) The contracts may have some access restrictions so that only certain addresses can perform certain administrative tasks. So you may not be able to use the same smart contract. If the smart contract is also open source then you can duplicate it and use that.

2) Many products in the market are not so much about the actual labor which goes into producing the product but about the marketing and the brand. (Think Coca-Cola for example.) In the case of Dapps trust issues may also play a role - you have to trust the frontend and you'd rather use a known trusted company's frontend than an unnamed company's. And even if the contract is open source only 1% of users are able to understand it (probably even less) and only 1% of those are interested in it - most just want to trust the company that their stuff does what it's supposed to do.

Of course you can also have a product only in smart contracts (think of MakerDAO) and let others do the frontends.

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  1. Minds isn't even decentralized so it would work like a normal private company selling shares. If it was actually based on ethereum then the investors would probably gain token.

  2. A social media network with no users isn't worth anything and so the original one will have all the users and capital

  3. Yes anyone could fork Minds but that doesn't mean they'll earn anything or gain users

  • If Minds was based on ethereum, can the app founders just mint new tokens to reward people as they please? Or is that built into the smart contract somehow? – srlrs20020 Aug 22 at 13:34
  • @srlrs20020 they could mint new tokens if the wanted to but it's more likely they would've built it into the smart contract. – Cryptic Aug 22 at 21:32

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