I am a researcher and writer interested in new technologies that contribute to the social good.
One of the exciting things about blockchain technology is how it can change how we work. It enables a kind of freelance/gig economy where individual workers are empowered by technology that does not make them dependent on centralized platforms. Currently, there are platforms where you can offer a service, on others you can accept a temporary job, and on some others, you can put in bids and have competitions for jobs. In all cases, however, if you want to use another model or need more customizability, you have to switch platforms and lose the reputation you have built.
The same applies to online writing. Medium is a centralized platform that writers depend on as a mechanism for building and maintaining an audience. They also look to Medium because it offers a mechanism through which they can get paid for their content. Leaving Medium for another platform is a scary prospect because few others have such a large user-base and reliable payment system.
The emergence of blockchain-based publishing platforms could change things. Take Publish0x, for example, it is a new site launched in December 2018 and still in “pre-beta” mode. However, the payment mechanism is already superior to Medium’s.
In essence, the platform allows nearly instant payments between readers and writers. There are no mediating third parties that need to be involved. For example, to get paid for an article on Medium writers must enrol in Medium’s Partner Program. This involves handing over personal tax information to a U.S.-based company. Writers also must register for a separate Stripe account, which requires handing over personal information again, this time with banking information included.
Publish0x removes those layers of inefficiency, which also compromise personal privacy. Instead of “clapping” for articles, readers can “tip” the author in cryptocurrency. The authors receive these payments to their account immediately. To withdraw is a simple and fast process with a very low minimum. For readers, the tip is effectively the same thing as a Medium clap: a quick and easy way of showing you appreciate the work. However, for writers, it is far superior because they get their funds faster without depending on various middlemen. Writers can request to withdraw their tips anytime and receive payouts each Monday.
At this stage, tips can be made on Publish0x using BNTY and HYDRO tokens. To draw users to the pre-beta version of the platform, the dev team is giving these tips away free to readers and writers. In other words, readers do not have to use their own tokens to start tipping, and with each tip, they earn BNTY and HYDRO themselves.
This highlights two points that distinguish Publish0x from its main blockchain-based competitor: Steemit. Readers earn cryptocurrency alongside writers, and there is no need to use a native token to use the platform. With Steemit, the writers earn but readers do not, and all earnings are paid in STEEM tokens. The model adopted by Publish0x is better because it gives content creators and consumers a common interest and makes it easier for users to integrate into a larger cryptocurrency ecosystem.
The tips on Publish0x are fairly modest right now. One online user calculated each tip they received was worth on average $0.015. However, it is important to keep in mind these are funds that are being given away for free by the dev team.
Moreover, despite the low value of an individual tip, they do add up. I have received several thousand BNTY and HYDRO for sharing content. As the number of users increases and more cryptocurrencies are integrated into the tipping system the value of the tips for writers will increase.
A neat feature of Publish0x is you can check out live daily, weekly and monthly stats on the site. In the past two months, the user base almost doubled and almost 35,000 tips were given.* If Publish0x were to reach the scale of a platform like Medium, the value circulating within its ecosystem would be massive.
*Update: According to an April 2019 post, the user base has doubled again and over 100,000 tips have been given.
Right now, Publish0x is an ideal platform for readers interested in cryptocurrency. The content is of high quality and specialized enough for crypto and blockchain enthusiasts. For writers, now is an opportunity to get involved early with the platform. Recently, CoinGecko joined the site, a sign of its potential.
Unlike Steemit, Publish0x does not have its own token and there is no ICO planned. It is “crypto agnostic,” which means the developers intend to integrate multiple different cryptocurrencies besides BTNY and HYDRO so readers can tip in whichever they prefer.
In a conversation on Telegram Publish0x CEO Dan Bainbridge discussed several other milestones planned over the next few months:
If Publish0x can come through with these features, it could very well “kill” Medium and Steemit as writers migrate away from current options.
Publish0x represents one of the first generations of blockchain publishing platforms to enable instant payments in digital currency. What makes it unique is how readers and writers received rewards and there is no need to buy a new token or coin to use the platform. At the same time, it could offer serious competition for platforms like Steemit that do not reward readers and require the use of a native token. As a writer who is interested in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, I am excited to see the dev team unveil new features and functionalities.
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