Viewly and Gems — two small blockchain teams competing with established tech giants
In this short writeup I want to glance at two projects that are entirely different. But the similarity is that they are both providing solutions where well established Tech Giants (Google and Amazon) are already established. But like in a lot of other areas, these big platforms take an unproportional amount of profit, while the other parties, that provide and do the actual work, or pay for it, suffer.
So, while it won’t be easy going against those competitors, improving the situation for the participants offers an ‘attack vector’ on the established solutions. What I also like about the both platforms, is that it could be the first experience with crypto for a lot of people, earning Gems / VIEW tokens rather than just buying crypto with fiat. Please keep in mind that this is really just a quick introduction, thorough analysis:
Viewly — ‘decentralized Youtube’ — https://view.ly/
Usually I’m not a big fan of ‘well-known-solution xyz on a blockchain’ projects. The specific advantages of blockchains are not needed for everything imo. So my first thought when I looked at view.ly was so this is supposed to be youtube on a blockchain… everyone knows videos are big filed, this sounds stupid. And there’s a ton of flashy websites with a whitepaper doing the same…
But I got interested when I found out that the only thing actually stored on the blockchain is the root (hash) of a Video. The actual video files are stored by hosting providers on a decentralized hosting marketplace. Plus there’s a working alpha to try it out.
Issues with the “old” Solution:
Anyone who has been following youtube a bit heard about demonetization, blocked content and other issues.
With the established platforms the incentives between content creators, viewers and advertisers are misaligned. Viewers are bombarded with irrelevant ads. Creators sacrifice quality of content for quantity of views. Advertisers lose due to inefficiencies and adblocking. Creators rely on third party solutions like Patreon.
The Viewly Platform:
With viewly, creators build their tribe of dedicated fans directly on site, receive support trough frictionless micropayments and subscriptions directly on the platform. Creators can also sign sponsorship deals that are in-line with their fanbase best interests — with the on-chain escrow and no middleman. The revenue and cost savings from this setup are passed back to creators and fans.
YouTubers and users of similar platforms will be able to sign up with their accounts and have the options to cross-post their videos to youtube and view.ly with a single click. Uploading and publishing is free. Anyone can seed their videos for free as well.
Most creators will probably want to let seeding be done by professionals and pay some View Tokens for the privilege. The hosting providers compete with each other in a decentralized marketplace.
Viewly (the website) will be moderated to hide infringing or inappropriate content. However, the viewly blockchain is immutable, and as such provides the basis for censorship resistance, and Users can use the technology to create their own communities, spin up their own hosting nodes and provide decentralized or anonymized clients.
On Viewly, each user has their own rewards pool. By upvoting content that you like, your pool is being distributed to the creators you liked on the pro rata basis. This is sort of like tipping, but without the attached cognitive cost.
Gems — Mechanical Turk — https://gems.org/
Ok, I will admit I had no clue what mechanical turk is, and that is a thing, and that amazon is a big player in this market before I stumbled over the Gems project. So for anyone else who was living under a rock here’s a short explanation: Amazon Mechanical Turk is an Internet marketplace for individuals and businesses to coordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks that computers are currently unable to do. It is a global industry with workers from all around the world, for some it is a means of earning supplemental income, but for others the micro tasking is a full-time job they rely on.
Issues with the “old” Solution:
In existing micro task marketplaces, verifying the accuracy of results from workers is difficult. Requestors pay multiple workers for the same task and accept the majority response as the correct one to validate accuracy. Amazon Tusk takes a hefty fee from the wages paid, so the more workers do the same task, the better for them. This makes the task more expensive for the requester (the one providing the job), while reducing the pay of the individual worker.
The Gems Protocol:
There are three parties involved in Gems approach:
Miners: the micro task workers.
Verifiers: workers with a high Gems Trust Score who verify miner-completed tasks. One Verifier basically replaces many individual miners redoing a single task to verify accuracy.
Requesters: those who want micro task work done
All parties (miners, requesters, verifiers) stake tokens on the validity of their work and against the validity of others’ work to incentivize accuracy and honesty. The Gems Trust Score indicates the reliability of a particular individual. Completing tasks accurately and consistently increases a miner’s score. Those with high scores are eligible to earn extra money by working as verifiers. A Verification doesn’t happen every time on every task to keep efficiency high, but often enough to mathematically disincentive malicious actors. A very clever approach, and one where blockchain technology can indeed provide additional value in my opinion.