Play-to-earn gaming is exploding in popularity across the blockchain and crypto landscape; games such as Axie Infinity and Alien Worlds have introduced a new means of monetization for gamers around the globe, enabling them to earn cryptocurrency by battling, breeding mythical creatures solving puzzles and more. Often, players are rewarded for their efforts with NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that they can trade for other items or sell.
But gaming is by far not the only way that both users and business can monetize with the help of blockchain technology; innovative and multi-layered business models that were not previously possible are today enabling monetization across various verticals that include that of user data, content such as video and viewing time of online ads.
The decentralized nature of blockchain technology means that businesses and users can fight back against overly monopolized industries such as social media platforms and streaming services, all whilst retaining the strong security guarantees that accompany blockchain’s distributed infrastructure.
Below are 4 platforms with varying approaches to monetization in different areas of the blockchain industry.
A survey led by HubSpot Research found that 91% of people believe ads are more intrusive today than they were two or three years ago, with 79% thinking that they are being tracked by retargeted ads. In an increasingly saturated digital world, it often feels like we cannot escape annoying and strangely accurate ad targeting methods used by major advertisers.
The attention that users pay comes in the form of consuming ad content on websites they visit via the Brave Browser. But these ads do not just pop-up and fill the screen like the generic ads we’ve come to know and hate; instead they appear as pop-up notifications that prompt the user to accept the ad before viewing it and, if the user accepts the ad request, Brave Browser sends a notification to the company's servers, but omits identifying and personal information of the user.
Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) form the foundation of the Brave economy and are paid out regularly to users of the Brave Browser. These tokens can either be credited by users to their favourite publishers or content creators in support of their sites or users can fund their virtual debit card with BAT rewards and make purchases online or even use a plastic debit card for purchases wherever Visa is accepted.
Brave Browser also recently announced an integration with the Gemini User Wallet, meaning that users can connect the wallet with their browser and use BAT tokens across both platforms.
As the way people view digital advertising changes, it is becoming harder for publishers to monetize their websites effectively; it is no longer a viable solution to simply fill a website with ad banners and wait for the revenue to flow into your business bank account. Today’s web users want their privacy and browsing experiences respected and programmatic advertising just does not work as effectively as it once did for publishers and advertisers.
Gather Network breathes new life into the world of website and app monetization with a multi-tiered platform that benefits web users, advertisers, publishers and enterprise cloud service clients all in one place. With the power of blockchain technology, Gather enables anyone to monetize their content without intrusive and annoying ads, whilst rewarding web users for donating their spare processing power when browsing websites or using applications. This processing power is then redistributed to businesses and developers in need of affordable cloud computing power and storage.
Gather Network has harnessed the power of blockchain technology to offer a service that is reliable, decentralized and secure for all parties; use cases of the platform are plentiful and various types of business can benefit from joining the Gather ecosystem including content publishing websites and blogs, streaming platforms, mobile applications and charitable websites. UNICEF famously enabled users to donate their computing power via their website back in 2018; Gather Network improves on the model used tenfold with the help of blockchain’s decentralized infrastructure.
After a web user has agreed to donate their excess processing power via a simple opt-in process, the website publisher earns rewards in the platform’s native Gather Token (GTH). Gather offers simple integration of the code necessary for users to opt-in to power sharing and the longer the session length of the user, the higher the revenue the publishers will generate; this revenue stream offers more profitability than traditional ad methods and a 30 minute session can generate revenue for for publishers that is as much as 20 times more than programmatic advertising models.
Run by a team of highly experienced individuals with deep experience in technology, finance and marketing, Gather Network is partnered with several other pioneering blockchain platforms and protocols including ANKR Network, Boson Protocol, Decentr and PAID Network.
A recent study by CISCO highlighted that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic and by 2026, the video streaming industry will be worth a reported $149.34 billion. These numbers represent an increasing demand for online streaming services as the world spends more time online than ever before.
But there are issues within this rapidly growing sector. Not only is the general quality of video used in live streaming relatively poor (even with global accessibility of high-speed internet), but content delivery networks (CDNs) do not cover all corners of the globe yet which results in slow loading times and constant re-buffering for many thousands of viewers. Lastly, today’s centralized live streaming platforms act as middlemen services, eating into the profits of the very content creators that make them so popular.
Theta, a platform founded back in 2017, aims to tackle these three issues head on; the platform introduces a multi-layered solution that cuts out middlemen services, improves video streaming quality, reduces the costs of streaming by up to 80% and that also rewards it’s users with a native cryptocurrency, Theta Fuel (TFUEL).
With a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) video delivery model run on blockchain technology, Theta looks to replace centralized content delivery models that are run and controlled by big names in the industry such as YouTube and Twitch. Theta enables users to watch high definition video streaming content and earn token rewards while they do so; by sharing their excess bandwidth and resources and participating in the overall Theta Network they are rewarded with TFUEL tokens that can be traded on various popular exchanges, staked or stored on the platform’s Theta Wallet, which also has a Chrome extension.
Content creators can bypass middlemen services and earn TFUEL for their content streamed on Theta.TV, the platform’s main streaming service which is part of a wider open-source streaming network.
Theta is supported by some major names in technology and blockchain including Samsung and Binance; Google are enterprise partners of the company and their advisory board includes Steve Chen, Co-Founder of YouTube and Kyle Okamoto who is Chief Network Officer at Verizon Digital Media. Theta raised $17 million with the participation of names like Samsung, Sony and Atari.
Data privacy is a global issue that has taken centre stage in recent years, especially as the world spends more time than ever online in the wake of COVID-19. Various high-profile hacks and data breaches have occurred this year, with the U.S. the worst affected - U.S. computers connected to the internet are attacked on average every 39 seconds, with a whopping 45% of American citizens’ personal information compromised by data breaches in the last five years.
With both a web browser and a browser extension available to users, Decentr enables users to take back control of and, even better, monetize their personal data. When a user surfs online, their data forms a part of their personal ID known as their DecID; the monetary expression of a user’s data comes in the form of their Personal Data Value (PDV) which essentially acts as a ratio that increases or decreases in-line with a user’s online engagement and turns every user into their own personal exchange rate between fiat, crypto and data currencies.
Decentr’s exciting approach to an internet of value means that all users of the platform have their own personal data value (PDV) and can derive tangible value from their data. Offering users a suite of features and tools that include payment solutions, a DEX (decentralised exchange) and a secure decentralised ID and wallet. Merchants using Decentr can accept the platform’s native DEC token as payment for goods and services from users, utilising dPay for online transactions.
Moving a step further and looking to become part of the DeFi (decentralised finance) revolution, Decentr also enables users to loan or borrow DEC tokens using their dWallet and in some cases through external DeFi dApps like Aave and Compound, with the variable APR they receive being based on the platform’s ADV, combined with the user’s PDV. Anyone can also buy or sell fiat, tokens and/or data through the platform’s internal DEX.
The Decentr team combines many years of expertise in software engineering, dev ops, mobile application and enterprise web development with senior developers having worked on exchanges, data storage, distributed computing and more in the past. As detailed in their 2021 roadmap, Decentr plans to complete multiple blockchain integrations with projects such as Chain Link and Tomochain and have recently partnered with open data marketplace Ocean, making their ERC-20 datatokens accessible and tradable via the Decentr dEX and accelerating the move into a new data economy.
As blockchain and the promise of a decentralized web begins to mature, the opportunities for both web users and businesses to monetize more effectively will continue to expand. The days of heavily monopolized tech sectors may well be up and some of the world’s brightest minds are working around the clock to give back the over nearly 5 billion web users around the world control of their data, time and content, resetting the scales and bringing fair value back to the internet.
Which projects or platforms do you think will play a part in the future of online monetization? Let me know on Twitter!