LimeWire Will Pay You Crypto For ‘Downloading’ Pirated ‘Music’

A cute LimeWire marketing campaign ahead of its crypto token sale plays on nostalgia for pirated music from the early 2000s


Vitalina Rybakova/Shutterstock, modified by Blockworks


LimeWire, the once-popular file sharing app now rebooted as an NFT marketplace, wants to recreate the early 2000s — when pirated music was at its most popular — but with a crypto twist.

The platform, resurrected by Austria-based entrepreneurs Paul and Julian Zehetmayr in mid-2022, has launched a simulation game that allows players to download nostalgic music considered popular two decades ago.

LimeWire’s game mimics its former life as a Windows XP program, complete with “rolling greens” aesthetic. 

In order to participate, players will be required to enter their email addresses, which will be used to track scores and send information on potential prize collections after the game.

Players can search for music and films from the 2000s and will be allowed to ‘download’ as many as they can in order to collect points. But download a file with a ‘virus’ in it, and the game will end. Decrypt first reported the news.

The game will only be available until May 15. The top 1,000 players scoring the highest will be rewarded with LimeWire’s upcoming ERC-20 token, LWMR, which can eventually be used to purchase NFTs.

Look familiar?

LimeWire’s token public sale is scheduled for next month, having already been backed by the likes of GSR, Arrington Capital and Kraken Ventures, per its website.

Examples of suspicious downloads include file types that end in “.exe,” overly large files, or corrupt file names. In its heyday, LimeWire was well-liked for helping users download music and movies free of cost, but ultimately, it was synonymous with computer viruses.

Remember, the download doesn’t actually fetch a player the real file — it’s just a game.

The LimeWire platform was revived after the Zehetmayrs bought the brand’s intellectual property in 2021, with the intention of rebranding it into a music-focused NFT marketplace.

Unlike NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea or Rarible, LimeWire acknowledges that some customers would still like to purchase NFTs with fiat currencies.

“To be clear, we are big fans of decentralization,” co-CEO Julian Zehetmayr previously told Blockworks. “At the same time, we believe the market just isn’t ready yet for fully decentralized platforms to be appealing and usable for the mainstream.” 

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