Presearch — Telegram QUIZ & AMA — May 18
On Monday, May 18, we had the pleasure to welcome to our Telegram chat:
Colin Pape, CEO of Presearch.
Some sentences have been slightly edited for readability but the meaning has been conserved.
In this AMA, Colin Pape, CEO of Presearch, joined the GAINS community to tell us about their project.
Presearch is a decentralized search engine that allows its users to earn tokens when they search. It is the fifth most visited crypto website with more than 1.4 million registered users doing more than 10 million searches per month.
Colin talks about the need to have a decentralized search engine to detect biases, prevent big corporations from influencing results and ensure that information is not blacklisted by government or other entities.
Hence, Presearch is a more transparent and ethical alternative to traditional search engines (Google, Bing, etc.).
PRE can be staked by advertisers to drive traffic to their websites, affiliate offers, and favorite causes.
Q — Alexandre R from GAINS: Colin, can you tell us what you did before crypto, how you got into crypto, and if you’ve had any other venture in crypto previous to being involved with Presearch?
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: Before Presearch, I founded a company called ShopCity.com that is based in Canada.
We provide towns and cities with an online shopping mall, powered by the local businesses in their community.
We first enabled our merchants to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, and my interest in crypto was originally about creating local currencies.
Q — Alexandre R from GAINS: Can you tell us what your role is at Presearch and what the project is about in a few simple sentences?
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: I’m the founder and CEO of Presearch.
We’re building a decentralized search engine, powered by the community.
Our mission is to create a more transparent search alternative that leverages open source technology and cryptocurrency to compete against today’s dominant search engines.
When you search on Presearch you earn PRE tokens. PRE can be staked by advertisers to drive traffic to their websites, affiliate offers, and favorite causes.
We are working on a decentralized node system that will enable users to earn PRE when they serve search results to our users.
We have more than 1.4 million registered users doing more than 10 million searches per month currently.
Q — Twitter user @JhonathanCh: According to Presearch’s two-way strategy, what does the semi-decentralized search tool consist of? And why is it considered essential to get the decentralized search engine in the long term?
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: The first version of the platform that you see now at www.presearch.org enables you to direct your search query into more than 100 different search resources.
When we first launched, we had Google as the default engine, so it was a way to earn crypto when you searched Google. This enabled us to reach more than a million registered users and provided us with a way to create value for people early in the life of the project.
We have since launched our own engine powered by third-party APIs like Bing and Google, similar to DuckDuckGo.
The next version will consist of a node that users can run and earn PRE for, which will provide search results from a variety of sources and enable us to start building out our own search index.
It’s a major challenge to just do all of this from scratch, most who have tried that way is not successful, so we have learned from their mistakes and taken this staged approach, which is working great!
The ultimate need to have a decentralized engine is to enable the community to participate in the curation process more actively, to be able to detect any bias and prevent it from influencing results, to ensure that information is not blacklisted and that it is resilient to restrictions placed by governments or other entities.
Q — Twitter user @wishlessmea: As far as I understand, you pay users for their active actions on the platform. This raises a logical question: how to protect yourself from people trying to abuse the platform and form a token by just clicking on the search button? How does your protection work?
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is people trying to game the system to just earn tokens without actually searching, which could increase the rate they accumulate tokens, but more importantly, would negatively impact the ‘transactional intent’ of our search queries, which would make our traffic less valuable and relevant to advertisers.
To combat this, we have built out what we call the RVS or reward verification service.
You can learn more about how this works here:
Q — Telegram user Joxes: A decentralized search engine is very interesting and positive for the internet in general, however, I am concerned that this is a nest to allow illegal content, is there a way to regulate or control these things?
I remember that the Android app was a little buggy a couple of months ago, has it been improved since then?
A — Marco from Presearch: We’ve seen various users for example advertise links that we would not want them to advertise (e.g. spam/scam links, etc.).
So, there is a challenge here both for the advertising side of things and search results side of things. Currently, with the APIs we’re using, it’s not really an issue we’ve experienced at the search results side of things. And, I’m pretty sure we’ll find a way to address this once search results are more decentralized (e.g. with an active community/decentralized team that checks for these kinds of things).
On the advertising side of things, we are currently not censoring any content. However, we have community members already actively searching for this and they outbid / out stake the keyword if they see something that shouldn’t be advertised. So in a way, the community members are addressing this themselves and we don’t have to do this.
As for the Android & iOS App. You’re right, these were at early stages and we’re currently very close to releasing the renewed mobile apps which also enable users to earn PRE Tokens on their mobile device. So, recommend you to stay tuned for that and join @PresearchNews.
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: That will definitely be an interesting challenge that we will engage the community in solving. They will be able to set the guidelines for what information is accessible by default.
Yes, there is a new Android app. It is pretty cool!
Q — Telegram user Eray: When compared with other Blockchain technology solutions, what advantages does Presearch have? Who do you think the competitors for Presearch in the Blockchain industry are?
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: One of our largest advantages is that we have a ton of real-world usage! More than 10m searches per month.
This makes us one of the only blockchain projects with real traction:
Q — Telegram user Rohit: Presearch has reduced its maximum supply of PRE tokens from 1 billion to 500 million? How will this affect the token holder and will this have an effect on the reward per search on presearch?
A — Marco from Presearch: I recommend you to check out this recent Medium post about the token burn, it explains the benefits clearly! https://medium.com/@presearch/presearch-completes-token-burn-a30cc62a438c
Q — Telegram user Isabella Salazar: How does Presearch handle unpreventable hacks or incoming malicious software?
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: We have a bug bounty program and work with many security researchers to help improve the security of the platform.
We also recognize that the less data we have, the better, so we do not store searches and have very little data that someone could use against our users.
It is an ongoing challenge and we need to remain humble and work with those who can help us always improve security.
Q — Telegram user Mert Kumru: Can you please explain briefly the difference between Dsearch and Presearch search engines?
We are slowly getting rid of the effects of the Covid19 crisis. What is the roadmap for the second half of 2020 that would make the long term investors excited about the project?
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: Essentially, Presearch is the rewards and search choice layer, while Dsearch is a specific engine that we offer as the default when someone searches through Presearch.
We have lots on the roadmap for 2020, including new technical talent, and the introduction of search nodes that we believe are going to be a huge development for all stakeholders within the Presearch ecosystem.
We will continue driving for mass adoption and will be ramping up marketing and striving toward 5m registered users.
Here’s a post explaining the differences in detail:
Q — Telegram user Ivan Petrov: I understand correctly that you are criticizing Google for its “selfish” policy and centralization. But you understand that Google has a monopoly on the market. Where is the guarantee that if you were in their place, you would not lead the same aggressive policy?
What do you think about traffic monetization? Are you considering any options like ad platforms?
A — Marco from Presearch: I think that we have really proven that we actually want unbiased and private searches for everyone during the past few years. As we move forward, the project will become more and more decentralized — meaning we couldn’t apply such aggressive policies. I’m pretty sure our community wouldn’t let us even if we’d want to.
Q — Telegram user DustyLoooza: Why does Presearch offer more than one wallet account to choose from?
A — Marco from Presearch: This has been a little confusing for new members, but for the long-time users it’s more clear:
- Savings account: Purchased & deposited PRE tokens that can be freely withdrawn (no limits) and used for keyword staking on the platform.
- Reward account: earned tokens from searching & the referral program. There are some requirements for them to become eligible for withdrawals.
- Portal account: this is barely used anymore. However, back during the crowd sale times, there was a crowd sale portal in which users purchased PRE tokens and got them added to their portal account.
Q — Telegram user Blam: What are the ways that Presearch generates profits/revenue to maintain your project and what is its revenue model? How can it benefit both investors and your project?
A — Marco from Presearch: Currently, Presearch generates revenue through fiat-served ads on Dsearch. From January 2021, we’ll also generate revenue through the keyword staking ad platform.
PRE Tokens are a utility token and not a security token, so we don’t distribute dividends or so. However, as we’ve recently burned PRE Tokens, and as the scarcity increases as the user base grows, it’ll become clear that 500M PRE is actually not that much… We’ll have to replenish our inventories to be able to continue to reward our users. And, advertisers will also need to get their hands on PRE Tokens. Therefore, it’s a good ecosystem that grows as there is more adoption and need for the PRE token.
Q — Twitter user @Aghiad007_io: When will the Presearch archive be used instead of the Google and Bing archive?
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: The approach we are taking is to develop a complementary/supplementary index curated by users that are powered by staking that we will start layering into the search results that we obtain from more traditional indexes.
The long-tail of search (queries that are not within, say the top 100,000 terms per language) is very challenging to solve. So we foresee using third-party results to satisfy those queries for probably the next few years while we are developing first our curated results, and then eventually, our crawler infrastructure.
The node-based platform that will enable us to move beyond the current architecture is in development and we are working to release a proof of concept that people can start running in 2020.
Q — Telegram user Kambing | Crypto ㊗: What will make PRESEARCH special and different from other Search engine competitors such as Google, Opera, or Brave in the future?
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: There are really two different opportunities here — the search engine and the browser.
We are the only real crypto-powered search engine right now. Our competitors include traditional search engines and we mainly differentiate ourselves currently by offering crypto rewards and multi-search functionality. Once our node platform launches, that will be another major game changer!
As a search engine, we can be used from any browser, including Brave and Opera. In the future, we may have our own browser, but for now, we operate mainly as a browser extension:
Q — Telegram user Ahmad Qarram: Could you increase the number of tokens that can be obtained by the search engine to over eight a day?
A — Marco from Presearch: The max. number of PRE Tokens that can be earned at the moment are 8 PRE a day: 0.25 PRE per search.
We’ve held promotions before where users earn 0.5 PRE per search and who knows, we might do one again in the future! We’ve definitely seen positive feedback on that.
As shared during the quiz, another way users can earn PRE Tokens is by using the referral system. Especially once the mobile app is live, it’ll be super easy to refer your friends, family, etc, as anyone can earn Presearch! You can find the referral program at https://presearch.org/account/referrals.
Use this link to get more tokens when you sign up: https://presearch.org/signup?rid=1697914.
Q — Telegram user Edward: What is the potential market for Presearch? How many people care about privacy and how many people care about blockchain companies?
A — Marco from Presearch: I think this also will kind of answer the question regarding growth for the PRE Token.
Keyword advertising alone is already a $100 billion market: https://medium.com/@presearch/keyword-advertising-a-100-billion-dollar-opportunity-380739dc422f
Our keyword staking ad platform is a way of advertising that hasn’t been done before, and in my opinion, it’s a huge opportunity for anyone to become an advertiser for affiliate programs, for their website, blog, or whatsoever — in a super-easy way!
As for the search industry. I mean, we are not aiming to become the new Google. We simply believe in unbiased search and privacy, and we’ve noticed there is a large market for this. Additionally, we believe that users need to be rewarded for seeing ads — and not just the search provider. And so, by combining these models / different industries — we feel confident there’ll be a good market opportunity for us. Having reached close to 1.5 million users is already very great!
Q — Telegram user Mikurana: Beyond the 6–18 month “keyword staking” trial period, what ideas might be implemented regarding staking? Such as if someone stakes 1 million on a word and they get a click on their ad will some of the 1 million PRE be then used as pay-per-click reducing the staking to below 1 million on that word? Not sure if I explained this well. And what new token uses can you share that might happen in the future?
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: Yes, in the future, there will be a consumptive fee charged for traffic.
We are working on a number of other concepts, such as the requirement to stake PRE in order to run a node, but then earning PRE every time a searcher receives results from your node.
Also looking at using staking to curate/rank results and even keyword ads, so that a negative stake could reduce the user’s original stake, and be used as a way to combat spam and abuse.
We think staking is probably the number one use for PRE and how it will integrate within the ecosystem.
Q — Telegram user Edward: What is the potential market for Presearch? How many people care about privacy and how many people care about blockchain companies?
A — Colin Pape from Presearch: We believe that the potential market for Presearch is more than 100m users who care about privacy and data ownership, and hundreds of millions who want to earn online. It is quite massive.
The immediate blockchain-focused market is not as large, but still probably 5–10m people.
Our goal is to leverage blockchain technology without making it the main focus.
Q — Telegram user Ghen Cô Vy: Does the Presearch team plan to implement policies and incentives for Presearch ambassadors?
A — Marco from Presearch: We have a referral program in which everyone can participate and earn PRE for sharing the word. It’s very easy to share with anyone.
We also have the PRE Corps. This is a small team of the most active community members who’ve helped to promote Presearch for a long time. Thanks to that, we’ve seen a lot of growth — and so we do reward them for doing that for us. We currently don’t have any open spots — but when we see very active community members in the @presearch channel we’ll see to find a spot for them.
Q — Telegram user Rohini: Adoption is one of the important factors that all sustainable blockchain projects should focus on to be more attractive in the investors’ eyes. What has Presearch done and planned to do to achieve real-world adoption?
What is Keyword Staking? And how is it different from normal staking?
A — Marco from Presearch: Adoption is key, that is something we definitely understand. As I mentioned in an earlier message, the reason we started of centralized was to immediately build a usable search engine. That, combined with the referral program has resulted in close to 1.5 million registered users within the past 2–3 years.
With the improved mobile apps coming up, it’ll be very easy to make using Presearch a habit, even without knowledge about crypto/blockchain. It’ll also be even easier to refer to users as everyone uses a mobile phone. It’s a great way to get adoption by combining the enthusiasm of the users with the ease of using and sharing Presearch.
As for keyword staking, hoping we’ve provided good insights into that so far, but feel free to check out: https://medium.com/@presearch/what-is-keyword-staking-b063324a2e85
Colin and Marco, thanks a lot for coming in today! It was great learning more about Presearch: how one can earn crypto while searching! You also told us about keyword staking, a good way to advertise your personal blog, or even a referral link, simply by staking PRE. I’m looking forward to the next iterations with nodes that will provide search results and maybe your own crawler in a few years!
Is there anything else you’d like to add? Where can people go to follow you?
Alexandre R from GAINS
Awesome, thank you for having us, Alexandre.
If you don’t have an account yet, you can register for FREE at Presearch.org/register. Change your search behavior and get rewarded.
Marco from Presearch
Thank you for the kind words and support! Presearch would be nothing without its community!
Please continue to use Presearch whenever you need to search, provide us with feedback on the project, invite your friends and family, follow us on social media and help us spread the word, and run nodes when we release that platform.
Thanks again to you and everyone who is helping us build the search engine of the future!
Colin Pape from Presearch
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