What is Pulse?
Pulse is a Protocol for Marketing and Discovery for Web 3.0 seeking to transform the way buyers and sellers find and transact with each other for high-value products and services. More than $50 B is spent every year on digital marketing in high-value verticals like Tech, Financial Services, Insurance, and Education to influence buyers as they seek to find the right content and suppliers for their “jobs to be done”.
Pulse enables the creation of decentralized knowledge networks where knowledge can be authored and curated by a distributed and incentivized community, and accessed democratically and on-demand by buyers to resolve purchase intents.The equivalents of Pulse in the centralized world are a) horizontal behemoths like Google, and b) Vertical players like Nerd Wallet in Financial Services, Ranku in Higher Education, G2 Crowd in Software, and Select Quote in Insurance.
Why does Pulse Need to Use the Blockchain?
For five key reasons:
a) Decentralization and peer-to-peer engagement: The blockchain makes it possible to build a decentralized, trustless, and autonomous network of buyers, sellers, experts, and relayers engaging among each other without a central point.
While P2P file sharing protocols allow for copy and transfer of files, secure, validated, and trustless transfer of value is possible only with the blockchain.
Users have full ownership and control of their data. Pulse has no central authority beyond continuing to innovate on the protocol and ensuring wide adoption. By extension, we will limit rent to the absolute minimum and optimize for the ecosystem.
b) Merit based Value Allocation: Work done on Pulse (origination, relaying, and fulfillment of purchase intent) is measured and rewarded transparently based on open source code executing as smart contracts.
Every intent is settled on the blockchain based on the merit of the work being done; most (85–95%) of the marketing dollars paid towards an intent are returned back to the ecosystem with full trackability. Everything is 100% transparent so it becomes very hard for any party to cheat.
c) Authentication and Privacy: All users act with full agency. They sign with private keys for all legal and financial commitments. Users can provide time-bound and revocable permissions for data and messaging access.
d) Network Effects: The use of tradable crypto tokens as incentives for early participants and the use of Relayers can help bootstrap both content and users to liquidity on to the Pulse network. Tokens and trackable relays help overcome the catch-22 inherent in building multi sided networks.
e) Owned and Governed by the Community: At scale, the vast majority of Pulse’s economic value will be owned by its community. Pulse Settlement Parameters and Category Metadata (Like Intent Structures) are governed on-chain by the community.
Is Pulse a Protocol or an Application? Does it have its own UI or App?
Pulse is primarily a protocol that enables decentralized origination, qualification, matching, relaying, bidding, engagement, and resolution of purchase intent for high-value products and services. We expect the majority of users to access Pulse widgets hosted on buy and sell side relayers using decentralized identities and wallets.
Pulse is more akin to a middleware for Web 3.0. We expect Pulse Message Formats, Smart Contracts, SDKs and APIs to be invoked from within dApps and websites that support the Pulse Protocol.
For more details, this post describes the 4 key steps in the protocol (origination, relaying, engagement, and settlement), and the role of Relayers.
What Exactly is being Tokenized on the Blockchain?
Purchase Intent is a time variant digital asset tokenized on the blockchain. In theory, virtually any type of purchase intent could be cast, qualified, and resolved via the Pulse protocol.
Why Would Buyers Want to Use it?
Buyers will hopefully see Pulse as
- More Secure
- More Private
- More Convenient and Easy to Use
- Offering Rewards (In some markets, rewards can make a real difference)
Our blog post below discusses more about the “work” being done on Pulse and the relative value to the buyer.
What do the Market Makers actually do?
Market Makers facilitate new markets by a) curating content, b) on-boarding and educating early users, c) signing up agreements with buy and sell side relayers, and d) managing Escrow and dispute resolution services.
The Market Maker is a facilitator, not a central coordinator. All user engagement is still peer-to-peer. The Market Maker makes a fee of ~ 10% of every intent settled on Pulse (can change by market). This number is likely to be higher in the early days of the market and taper down once the market reaches some level of liquidity.
Pulse provides a toolkit of lego block like components as a white-label solution to Market Makers. These include:
- Smart contracts that can be extended.
- Front end libraries that can be customized.
- Standard messaging formats for what constitutes an intent, bid, offer, order, etc.
- A “platform as a service” to make these custom changes through upgradeable configurations and not code, and with ability to auto-provision decentralized infrastructure for users.
Market Makers can compose full featured apps that reflect the dynamics of specific markets by mixing and matching components, and extending capabilities.
Anyone who is well connected in an industry or domain can act as a market maker and create a knowledge network. ( Say a Life Insurance Network in Ghana to help buyers find the best life insurance, a STEM Education Network in Indonesia to help students evaluate and find the best courses, or a Truck Buying Network in USA to help Truck Buyers find the Truck that is likely to work best for their needs).
How long does the buyer need to wait to get responses and start engaging?
For the categories we are launching in, the protocol has a capability called “single user mode” where Market Makers can use curated content and directories with expert rankings to return a top list of relevant links for content, sellers, and experts. This will provide some level of instant gratification for FINDs. Participating Buy-side Relayers need to call the Pulse API to retrieve single user mode results and display to user.
In the end-state, we expect buyers to be able to receive programmatic responses from counter parties immediately and engage with other humans in no more than a few hours from the time of creating the intent.
Does Pulse support Programmatic Bidding for Sellers?
In the near-term, no. In the medium term, we plan to add a capability called “Programmatic Responses” to Seller nodes. Sellers can define multiple criteria and if an incoming intent meets these conditions, the bidding is automatic.
Who creates and manages the questions related to an Intent (Intent Structure)?
Intent structures are specific to each category and subcategory; They are seeded by the market maker using Pulse Studio and updated/modified over time through community-based governance.
Can Experts Make Money? How?
Experts make money by : a) Contributing to the knowledge base, and b) Helping buyers resolve their intents. For every intent that is settled on the blockchain, experts partake in the settlement based on their Pulse IQ scores.
The settlement parameters that drive redistribution are governed by the community.
Will Cost of Acquisition be Lower for Sellers? How?
We believe that as demand becomes more qualified and transparent in any channel, markets become substantially more efficient, leading to higher and faster conversions, reducing cost per acquisition. Pulse seeks to provide sellers a higher volume of inbound leads that convert better and faster.
How does Pulse make money?
For markets bootstrapped by Pulse, we will retain ~15% of the money paid by sellers to access and engage with buyer intents. For markets facilitated by a market maker, Pulse will retain 5%.
We seek to solve primarily for value to the community and growth of the network while making enough money to continue to innovate on the protocol. At scale, we expect millions of intents to be cast and settled on Pulse every month across multiple categories and geographies. In addition to seller payments to access buyer intents, we plan to charge sellers for permissioned campaigns (Phase 3) based on a pay-for-performance model.
Does Pulse support Programmatic Orders for Buyers?
Not in the short-term, but it is a key capability in our long term roadmap to allow for Intents to be converted to orders. The conversion can be manual or programmatic based on specific criteria (best price, best signal, by a specific time window, etc.). The platform will also provide the following key capabilities that can be configured by market makers:
- Quotes with Prices in Seller Responses to Intents
- Convert Intent to Order based on conditional logic
- Support for One-Time and Recurring Payments
- Payments in Crypto or Fiat
- Legal Smart Purchase Contracts executing on a side chain that can be configured by sellers
- Automatic Transfer of documents from Seller to Buyer’s decentralized locker
- Dispute Resolution
- Escrow for Buyer Protection
- Collateral for financial service transactions