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Perhaps the only thing hotter than blockchain ICOs right now are online dating and networking apps. That’s right, Tinder, Bumble, et. al. are still millennials’ go to choice for hooking up and / or finding true love. Popular websites like LinkedIn provide a way for people to make career connections with others in a more business-like, professional way. To be sure, it is still entirely online, but there is a more personal touch to networking websites than a simple email or business card.
Yet the rapid growth in dating apps and networking websites has also come at a cost. Many have documented some of the pitfalls of online dating. Everyone has stories of being “catfished” and stalked, and unfortunately several people have been seriously harmed. There is a certain thrill to it–swipe right or left and start a conversation with a total stranger. It becomes a game.
Or take LinkedIn connections. They are beneficial in many ways, but at the same time, online business profiles are more for show that anything else. Like a clever resume, LinkedIn profiles are not always what meets the eye–just ask corporate recruiters.
Blockchain companies are offering innovative alternatives to online matching apps and websites. The basic premise is the same–make connections with others as a way to pursue mutual interests, whether it’s a relationship, a fun night out, or a long lasting business partnership. The difference is that the platforms run on blockchain technology, which holds significant advantages over traditional connection apps and websites.
The Basic “How To” of Blockchain Matching Platforms
Blockchain matching platforms use group dynamics to help participants connect. Rather than letting a centralized algorithm based upon a company’s software make matches, users can create pools in their area with custom specifications. The power to match is transferred from centralized platforms to end users.
After pools are formed, matchmakers are established. These matchmakers are rewarded by the network’s internal token for how successful their matches are. The reputation and therefore popularity of a given match pool is measure by its ability to meet participants’ goals. Based upon a free market understanding of supply and demand, pools can excel ahead or to fall behind.
One example of the token reward system is the new alpha release by Matchpool. The token rewards matchmakers internally, and provides a way for matches to be distributed, even to other chains. In Matchpool’s case, a recent press release indicates that users can refer writers for Snip, and actually receive tokens on either platform, providing increased flexibility.
A very unique aspect of blockchain matching platforms is the “locking” feature. The program runs makes sure that there is a one-to-one ratio between binary parties, i.e. for every “x” participant, there must be a corresponding “y” participant. If there is an imbalance, a pool will be “locked” until the binary equilibrium is restored.
The “locking” feature can be adapted to various parameters, for example, a male and female dating setting, or a female and female business setting. The list is infinite, giving users flexibility in their options.
From a business perspective, these blockchain platforms are advantageous to both pool hosts as well as pool participants. Hosts can choose from a variety of fee models, including entry fees, subscription fees, packages, and pay on delivery options. Users can choose pools that fit their fee preferences, and because the blockchain is completely auditable, there is a guarantee against price fixing and fee manipulation.
How Blockchain Technology Addresses Traditional Matching Programs’ Greatest Flaw
The biggest threat to anyone participating in online matching sites–whether for dating, business ventures, or friendship–is physical harm. There are plenty of evil people in the world, and some choose to prey on online daters and web-based networkers. How do blockchain matching platforms address these very serious concerns?
First, the platforms can disband pools and remove users that violate policy documents. This adds an element of protection for end users. If they feel unsafe or in harm’s way in any manner, they can file a complaint and use screenshots as necessary.
Second, personal details are private by default. In many dating and social media platforms, the centralized server can dig for further info and publish it at will. This is often hidden in the fine print on consent documents. In contrast, blockchain matching platforms give users the autonomous choice to reveal what they want to reveal. Details will be published to others only with explicit consent.
Finally, all pools will have a public profiles where reviews, comments, and concerns can be posted for all to see. If unsavory actions take place, these can be reported and dealt with accordingly. In the end however, as with all things, it is the user’s responsibility to act in a wise and discerning manner, always following basic safety principles when interacting with others online.
Many blockchain platforms sound too good to be true. And in reality, many of them are. Some don’t meet ICO goals and pass on into oblivion. Others, however, reach their ICO goals and are in alpha and beta production versions. Several companies, like Matchpool, have successfully launched and are servicing customers through their decentralized matching platform, as well as partnering with other chains like Snip and Qtum. Having already connected thousands of users, these companies continue to expand their reach and connect people across the globe.