Neon Launches World's First NFT Vending Machine in New York City
YouTube

Before Apple Music and Spotify, we had LimeWire – and it's making a return.

For legal reasons, the platform won't be returning as the early 2000s piracy icon that elder millennials know and love. Instead, it's leaving illegal file sharing and PC viruses in the past and rebirthing as an NFT marketplace.

LimeWire was forced to shut down after a long legal battle that culminated in 2010, with creator Mark Gorton hit with copyright infringement charges. The case ended with a $105 million settlement between the CEO and record companies outside of court.

Fast forward 12 years – and in an announcement no one expected on their 2022 bingo card – it's having a Gen Z rebirth with a combination of crypto and nostalgia. Users will create, buy and trade music-related nonfungible tokens NFTs such as graphics, merchandise, songs and exclusive backstage experiences.

Austrian brothers Paul and Julian Zehetmayr are well aware of controversial ties with the name. Still, they aim to bring the platform back to life with safety features such as anti-money laundering checks and accountancy firm EY monitoring activity.

"The pros definitely outweigh any of the controversy," they told Bloomberg.

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All assets will be denominated in US dollars to attract a mainstream audience, but the platform will accept crypto and fiat money. LimeWire will also offer Bitcoin and Ether wallets for the tokens through a partnership with blockchain payments firm Wyre Inc.

"The issue with the NFT market is that most platforms are decentralized," Julian told CNBC. "If you look at bitcoin, all the exchanges are making it really easy to buy, trade and sell bitcoin. There's no one really doing the same in the NFT space."

LimeWire has opened a waiting list ahead of the new launch in May, where eager users will have a shot at receiving one of 10,000 exclusive airdrop NFTs released by the platform.

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