We hear about new uses for blockchains every single day. The technology is so darn versatile that it won’t be long before it’s making your morning coffee and looking after your kids. Or maybe that’s AI. Whatever. The point is that considering the possibilities of blockchain technology is like contemplating the enormity of the universe. Each time you think you’ve defined its limits, it expands once again.
Admittedly, the majority of ICO proposals are simply ideas on paper, but it’s an exciting time to be living in nevertheless. We’re only in April and already 171 ICOs have sprung up, raising close to $6 billion. What they’ll do with all that capital remains to be seen, since it’s a well-known fact that nine in ten ICOs will go belly up.
In this brave, new, and decidedly cutthroat world where so many things are deliberately vague, it’s becoming crystal clear that to succeed with this technology you need to have something pretty special. An idea on paper is just an idea on paper unless you have the backing of a brilliant and invested team, the expertise, and the credibility to see it through.
WE’RE LIVING IN CHANGING TIMES
Most people don’t really stop to think before hopping online, making transactions and signing up for newsletters. At least, not until they realized their data was becoming a seriously valuable commodity. Since Cambridge Analytica – well, even before then – consumers have realized that they don’t like advertisers reading their minds. They’re not comfortable mentioning to a friend on a mobile chat that they need to buy a new toaster, and then seeing adverts for toasters on social.
Something about it all feels very Big Brother and frankly, it needs to be stopped. These vulture-like data middlemen and advertisers will be checked somewhat by the EU’s GDPR (four letters that strike fear into the hearts of the majority of online businesses). But although that might limit the use and accessibility of data, according to Jaron Seijffers, CMO at Israeli ICO MaxData, consumers are not likely to come out winning. Here’s why:
The current Facebook data scandal shows that people are starting to become aware of the value of their data. Governments are starting to take action and the GDPR is the EU’s way to improve the playing field for consumers. These changes are reducing the ability [of] companies to target specific consumers and will most likely increase customer acquisition costs and with that the final prices for consumers.
So, we’ll gain more privacy, but it will come at a cost. Unless blockchain tech steps in to save the day.
MaxData is planning to create a healthier, more efficient way to buy and sell services online by connecting service providers directly to consumers through a blockchain. This will cut out middlemen and increase cost efficiency for all.
IMPROVING EFFICIENCY IN THE SERVICE ECONOMY
“The current service economy is built upon massive inefficiencies in the marketing processes,” Seijffers explains. “With companies vying for the attention of consumers, service providers must hire the marketing services of the giant data corporations. These are costly and rolled onto the final, consumer prices. By using the blockchain, we allow anonymous transactions to occur directly between customers and suppliers, cutting out the data middlemen.”
A great idea. But can they see it through? With prominent figures in the Israeli banking system on the advisory board, including Imri Tov, director of Israel’s largest bank, and Dror Shake, SVP of Business Development at Wix.com, lending their weight to the idea, the foundation is looking good. Moreover, this ICO is highly regulated, and its CEO is part of the Israeli regulation committee.
The MaxData team plans to focus on two different markets: services with recurring prices like insurance and utilities, and purchase groups where consumers join together to get better rates, such as corporate gym memberships.
But what makes MaxData different from any other data middleman, like Facebook, Google, or other advertising platforms? MaxData allows consumers to anonymously give information about the services they need and how much they are currently paying for them. This data is encrypted and published anonymously on the platform. This gives companies clear information and allows them to send only relevant offers that will generate higher conversions.
“By lowering their acquisition cost, the companies will be able to increase their revenue while reducing the price of their services. Consumers will receive a token payment whenever companies send them an offer, so not only do they reduce their cost of living, they earn tokens by doing so.”
A WIN-WIN ALL AROUND?
Consumers get cheaper services delivered to their inbox without having to search for them, and they get rewarded monetarily for offering up their data. The service providers gain access to qualified data at a cheaper price, and everyone is happy… except for traditional data middlemen like Facebook and Google. Perhaps that’s why their silence on the blockchain is becoming louder every day.