One month ago, we launched nCent out of stealth mode. Our telegram group had less than 20 people. Today, there are over 20,000 members of nCent Nation Worldwide, and they just completed the world’s most cooperative, international crossword puzzle.
We wanted to find a fun and interactive way for people to learn about our mission at nCent. More than that, we wanted to find a way to start building a community of people who shared our philosophy. So we made a crossword puzzle using words from our litepaper, and we released the clues at random intervals on telegram.
We awarded points to people who solved the word first. The Prize? 1ETH to the top three scores and to the first to submit a picture of the completed puzzle.
At first, there were only a handful of participants. But it didn’t take us long to put some community incentives in place! We decided to reward people for recruiting others into the search. If someone you referred earned points, you’d receive a reward too. A word solver got 16 points. However, the parent of the solver got 8. The grandparent got 4 and so on. This created a viral incentive for folks to invite their friends and encourage them to solve words too — a dynamic the three winners were able to prove out well. Each of our three winners had a chain that contributed meaningful points to their final totals.
What happened next blew us away. Within just a few weeks, our telegram group went viral. There were over 20,000 people trying to solve our crypto-puzzle.
“The power of referral incentive was clearly demonstrated through the game. If not for my referral chain, I might not have been a winner.”
But it was more than just that . A community was forming. We joked around with each other —
Some people even tried to curry sympathy with fake pets like @djchahal’s lovesick kitty “mewmew” —
We started to stretch across multiple time zones —
Our random timer released clues well, randomly, so as not to advantage any timezone in particular. People were waking up at odd hours just to solve a crossword puzzle.
“It’s been like an 18/7 shift to work on this game. Have went through all the articles line by line to crack certain clues. Nice learning experience with this event, and it’s a healthy way to introduce the project.” — @DoYouSmell
Our puzzle solver was someone completely fresh to the contest and hadn’t solved a word previously. In fact the blocking clue was “Palo Alto” which stumped the crowd. This shows the value of “fresh eyes” in looking at the problem (ideally someone you refer!). In fact the winner’s uncle actually tipped him off!
“I really liked the friendly atmosphere on here (unlike many other projects…), so the community is really what drew me in.” — @Wolves444 (puzzle solver)
Through the course of learning about nCent for this contest, I went off on many interesting tangents reading about consensus protocols, other cryptocurrencies, economics, and even philosophy. It was worth more than the monetary incentive. -@llovan
We can’t help but think about the possibilities moving forward. A crossword puzzle with 3 ETH on the line engaged a community of over 20,000 people in just a few days. Imagine if that same dynamic could be scaled and directed to solve all kinds of hard problems. This is our vision.
7. San Diego
14. Not debit
17. Energetic equilibrium
23. Plato Luther Jr
25. Massive Miner
27. Game of Angels and Life
29. Wood Tall or High Wood
33. Stop it to “go to moon”
42. OG BTC predictor
44. Deep learner
2. Hypertext & Mice
6. Radiant or stellar
8. Dishonest node
10. German UFO Sightings
13. Mr. Cornelius
15. Solitary Wood
16. The first
18. 48 LP
31. Angel Coin
34. Satoshi Grandcite
37. Robot Wars
38. Mykines’ twin
41. Magnum opus
45. ID Offense