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Personal Data & Blockchain Technology: Rewarding Users’ Preferences on A Tokenized Economy

Have you ever asked yourself if there’s a way on which you can directly monetize your preference for a service, product, social media network or just by sharing your personal information when browsing the web? We are used to sharing our personal information as well as content on social media channels and disclosing personal information when using apps that record our health status, preferred products, services, shops and locations. However, before the rise of blockchain technology, users were not rewarded with a token for choosing a search engine, a social network or a mobile app just to mention a few examples. Ironically, that information is crucial for thousands of companies that target their advertising campaigns to specific audiences.

Is there a way users can take control of their data and preferences on the web while at the same time monetizing? 

Yes, there is. Blockchain technology has unleashed a wide range of services and companies that are willing to pay for their users’ preferences. Moreover, many companies are not only interested on rewarding users for deciding to use their services but also by sharing their personal information or by creating compelling content that is appreciated by the community.  Let’s go over some examples:

Supported by Koibanx & RSK technology, Tokkenit enables companies to create their own loyalty programs and reward their customers with benefits and prizes using blockchain technology. It is a flexible and customizable app accessible to everyone and without the need for membership cards or coupons. Any company willing to reward their users with a token can benefit for this service, as transactions are 100% transparent and secure. Coupons, paper or membership cards are no longer required.

Content creators as we’ve previously analyzed, are exploring blockchain technology on digital advertising as a way to increase the rewards they get from their content efforts. Options like Steemit, Sapien & Somee are good examples of how publishers and content creators can get rewarded without middle-man fees, each time their content gets social buzz & engagement. Sharpay also explores an interesting concept on which users are rewarded by sharing information on social media and generating engagement. This could of course disrupt the present incentives of influencers as they would have new direct ways to monetize their followers’ base. Moreover, projects like BAT, reward users’ attention with native ERC-20 tokens (for using a native browser) that they can then distribute to their preferred publishers while at the same time increasing their privacy. Content creators on the other side, can increase monetization ratios by becoming publishers and advertisers take advantage of blockchain technology by mitigating bot fraud risks and getting a better ROI from their digital advertising efforts.

When it comes to search engines, Presearch & Bitclave are good examples of how consumers can get a native token when browsing the web. Bitclave goes one step further and enables their users to share their information in a secure way, while earning from the process. Wibson is another good example of how users can directly benefit by sharing their personal data. If your personal information is already used by apps and websites for monetization purposes, wouldn’t you prefer to remove intermediation and monetize your personal information when and to whom you decide? It definitely makes sense.

When it comes to ecommerce and services, reviews are without a doubt of paramount importance. Whereas if you are analyzing to purchase a product, a service, a car or your next vacation package, you always want to check reviews and what others have to say. The problem is that many people don’t have any real incentive to deliver an extensive, highly detailed and useful review, hence making the review process many times not as objective as we would probably like to see. Proposals like Review Network provide direct incentives for users, as they get rewarded for writing comprehensive online reviews and answering market research surveys. SynchroLife enables their users to earn tokens for good and honest reviews about restaurants. These are just a few examples but the idea is quite simple and can be extrapolated to any vertical unleashing a new crypto-economic model where consumers have clear incentives to share their time & knowledge.

Verasity is another interesting example, as it builds the infrastructure and tools for video publishers to serve rewarded video and loyalty programs to their viewers. Video viewers have a direct incentive to watch videos as they can get direct benefits, tokens & rewards while watching their favourite gamers and content creators. If we have in mind that Verasity, as stated on their website, is built on existing video and ads distribution platforms like Youtube, Twitch, Vimeo, Brightcove, etc., this concept has a lot of potential. Just think about the gaming industry alone. This could be without a doubt a game changer for advertisers, gamers, influencers and content creators.

At this point, we have examined just a few of the dozens of available options that are exploring blockchain technology to reward their users directly in many different ways. The future looks promising as intermediation costs could be drastically reduced if these projects massively scale while at the same time increasing users’ privacy with the added benefit of having control of how and when they decide to monetize their personal information and choices.