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LBRY Is Not An App

Sean Yesmunt • Sep 20 2018

LBRY Is Not An App

Oh jeez, another post about how LBRY is a protocol. I wanted to write this because it seems like an area that is confusing for some people (my parents included). LBRY is not an app, even though I can see why you might think that. When I first discovered LBRY I thought it was just a desktop app, however, the real technology is what powers it, the LBRY protocol.

Currently there are three applications that use the LBRY protocol: the desktop and Android apps, and spee.ch. All three of these can read from and write data to the LBRY blockchain. Most users browsing the LBRY network through one of these apps (or a future one that hasn't been created yet) don't care about a blockchain in the underbellies of the app, the same way someone watching YouTube doesn't care how http works. The technology linking this data network to these apps is LBRY. Any number of apps can be built on top of LBRY, and each one can use all or a subset of the data stored on the network.

Someone can make an app on-top of LBRY entirely focused on short films, 3D printing, or astrophotography. Any website or app that facilitates the creating and sharing of content can be built on top of the LBRY protocol, and these apps can host content for free or charge a small amount of money to view said content. There are a lot of cryptocurrency projects calling themselves "decentralized" just because they have a blockchain somewhere in their stack. Most of these would probably be better off as regular centralized web apps. Check out "Protocols not Platforms".

If you wanted to, you could build an app entirely devoted to creating and sharing crypto memes and you could store all of this data on the LBRY network. You could share this with people or keep it to yourself and have your own stockpile. You can build whatever you want on top of LBRY; a serious project or something silly. The LBRY network will not judge.

Note: If you want to read more about the LBRY API, or are interested in building your own app on top of LBRY, check out our new site https://lbry.tech.

Photo of Sean Yesmunt
Sean Yesmunt · · ·

Sean is an app engineer focused on user experience, which means he spends his time making the LBRY app easier to use. Sean was part way through an Aerospace Engineering degree at Penn State, when he decided he didn’t want to end up working on rockets for the government.

So, he did what many LBRYians have done, and dropped out to focus on coding. His excitement for crypto and open-source projects focused on decentralization, led him to discover LBRY, which he began working on the very same day.

His passion for developing intuitive experiences has brought immense value to users all around the world who use LBRY.