App Mining; Blockstack’s Method of Rewarding Decentralized Applications

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The Internet has evolved over a couple of decades and has changed the way software companies work and make money. In the nascent days of the internet, software developers spent time in building some crucial infrastructure and shared protocols like HTTP, SMTP, and TCP/IP which opened doors to the world wide web – the browsers, websites and all the present day internet that we see and enjoy today.

But as limited protocols were built and most of the websites and content was free, developers had very limited sources of revenue to help them sustain and continue in development.  

As things progressed and the problem of monetizing started rising, the base platform layers were created and this gave rise to the world of application or apps as we call them now. The launch of Apps was a great way to interact with end users directly, therefore, allowing monetization opportunities for small developers as well.

The apps opened opportunities for developers to monetize in a number of ways. With the app market evolving, developers also asked users to sanction to use their data which they could collect and sell advertisers.

Advertisers use this data to target adverts based on user interest. While all was going great, the only problem that existed here was a problem of centralization, which makes app developers share their fees with the base platform creators.

Another leap and today the world is slowly warming up to decentralized apps. These apps are free from the centralization issue and all the revenues are earned by developers as they do not have to share with any intermediaries giving them actual independence of delivering what their audience requires.

Not just this, with blockchain and cryptocurrency, developers now are looking to develop decentralized applications and also monetize them. The introduction of blockchain has again bought the development to the infrastructure phase getting to the world ready for Web 2.0

Blockstack, A Window to the Future of the Internet

Blockstack describes itself as a new age internet which is designed for decentralized apps. Blockstack is designed as a key that can open doors to the new world of apps by not just being decentralized but also allowing users to own their data which permits them to maintain privacy, freedom, anti-censorship, and security.

Blockstack, by using the lower layers of the traditional internet, is working on decentralizing the application layer thus providing the easiest way to start building decentralized blockchain based apps. It provides a comprehensive decentralized stack of application which is powered by the Stacks blockchain and is being maintained by a community of seven thousand developers.

For development, Blockstack also provides key tools and infrastructure to developers thus enabling storage, authentication, and identity in a decentralized form.

Developers at Blockstack built a single page application using JavaScript and plug into user- run API’s thus eliminating centralized controls. Users run these created dApps through the Blockstack browser and give explicit permissions to their data. The information shared by the users is encrypted and stored in their personal devices thus providing confidentiality to users. This model eliminates middlemen, passwords and massive servers that store data at the developer’s end.

While Blockstack envisions to develop an ecosystem which provides users control over their fundamental digital rights, it also helps developers by providing them funding support via a variety of method which includes App Mining, Its Signature Fund, Active Bounties, and its rewards programs. While other programs are pretty tradition what actually stands out here is App Mining – a unique system where app developers are rewarded by Blockstack.

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App Mining – Making Money via Developing Apps

App Mining is a system created by the Blockstack team to not just fund and support developers but also encourage Dapp developers to use the Blockstack platform. WIth App Mining, Blockstack and other participating companies reward developers for creating platforms that community members actually need. The stronger and popular the app is the more money is awarded to the developer.  

In the process of App Mining, it begins with the developers first develop the apps and submit it for review and approval to one of the Bockstack’s primary app reviewers (one of them being) Democracy Earth. These reviewers thoroughly review the new applications and if approved place them on Blockstack. They then collect the information via surveys and votes regarding its usability and then rank them depending on their own unique standards. Based on this ranks the payout for each app is decided.       

According to the company, the first payout of the pilot run will begin on December 1, 2018, and are expected to be USD 100K in total, each month and will be paid in Bitcoin. The top-ranked app will be received 20 percent of the total amount while the next ranked app will be awarded 20 percent of the remaining 80 percent of the amount and so on. The initial round of payments will be distributed by Blockstack PBC until the process is further decentralized and tokens are distributed programmatically.

Key Players and Components

App mining is possible via key partners and components who play vital roles in the successful implementation of this process.

Block Auth App

The developers also need to add Blockstack Auth as a login option for the app. Blockstack Auth provides apps a quick login model and issues users with private keys and unique names rooted in the blockchain ensuring that identities say registered to their users

App.co

The initial registration process is regulated by Blockstack PBC through App.co. Also, the votes that are aggregated by Blockstack PBC for apps are administered via App.co. App.co will also help Blockstack PBC in the facilitation of payouts to the various app once the process begins.

App Reviewers – Democracy Earth

In the whole process of App mining, App reviewers play an important role as their ranking changes the payout for the Dapps. Democracy Earth Foundation is one of the app reviewers for Blockstack

Democracy Earth foundation was created in 2015 and is based in Palo Alto, California. The project tech non-profit projects intend to create platforms for decentralized and trustworthy online governance.

Democracy Earth’s motive is to establish online governance tools keeping in mind the internet’s founding values along with democracy’s which include decentralization, transparency, and incorruptibility. Democracy Earth’s has an ERC20 token (VOTE) which helps in community voting.

This voting system is independent of any central authority, while the governance in the process is fully democratic.

As an app reviewer, Democracy Earth uses its proprietary methodology to make judgments objectively to figure which and how one app is better than the other. Blockstack believes in using Democracy Earth’s ranking objectives as democratic and is resilient to abuse, hence, the App ranking cannot be refuted.   

The app mining system of funding is definitely innovative and path-breaking in its way. It is not only a great way of funding developers but also a  great way of encouraging them in developing what the community needs.

What’s your take on Blockstack? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.