LimeWire is back from the dead.
Yes, that LimeWire — the peer-to-peer file sharing software on which unauthorized software, illegal music downloads, and computer viruses flowed freely until its shutdown in 2010.
According to a press release, the platform will relaunch in May as a "mainstream-ready ready digital collectibles marketplace." Basically, Limewire 2.0 will sell NFTs.
Instead of facilitating free downloads of 50 Cent's Get Rich Or Die Tryin', the reincarnated site will offer digital rarities such as unreleased demos, exclusive live recordings, and backstage content. At launch, it will focus on music-related collectibles and eventually expand to art and entertainment.
Users won't even need a crypto wallet to get in on the action — to reduce barriers to entry (let's face it, purchasing an NFT isn't the easiest task), LimeWire will allow purchases via credit card, bank transfer, and fiat gateways (think Binance, Coinbase, and similar apps), thanks to a partnership with Wyre.
And, totally unlike LimeWire's original modus operandi, the new and improved platform will work directly with artists to create and sell content — pretty ironic for a platform that once incurred the wrath of the RIAA.
"The biggest challenge with digital collectibles and the broader crypto market in general is that it's really limited to a small group of savvy users" said Paul Zehetmayr, LimeWire's co-CEO.
"There are big players on the market already, but the entry barrier is still too big to allow for mainstream adoption."
While the relaunch of LimeWire probably isn't stirring any Gen Z hearts, the nostalgia factor for Millennials is huge. In fact, it's pretty trippy to witness the heroic downfall of a childhood touchstone, only to see it resurrected as the total antithesis of what it once was.
As Twitter has aptly pointed out: can you really call it LimeWire unless your NFT downloads come with a free virus?