Michelle Desrochers

Sr. Program Manager at Kin

Using cryptocurrency to turn screen-time into meals for the hungry

Last week, I had the chance to catch up with Samuel Dowd, Founder of Oroboros LLC and creator of Pause For, one of the 30 apps to launch in the first Kin Developer Program. I love what they are trying to do, so I wanted to learn more about Pause For, why they work with Kin and why they’ve signed up for the second Kin Developer Program.

What is Pause For?
Pause For is an app that allows users to trade screen-time for charitable impacts. Right now users can provide meals for the homeless in America, vaccinations for dogs and plant trees around the world. We rotate these charities and hope to add more as our user base expands.

How is Kin used in Pause For?
Users earn Kin by setting a timer and staying off their phone for the duration of the time they chose. Users can then spend their Kin on a variety of charitable impacts and gifts.

How did you come up with the idea for Pause For?
The original motivation was to help people be more productive. This idea stemmed from my experience at an internship at a big company. It was a great place to work, but everyone had their own goals and dreams that they hoped to work towards. For example, my roommate at the time wanted to get better at violin, but he would work 8 hours a day and come home and watch youtube or scroll down his twitter feed instead. I saw everyone doing that and I was trying to find a solution where people would stop and start taking the time to practice their violin or learn to code or whatever they wanted to do.

Fast forward, I’ve been working for a charity for 7 years now and have seen how charity can really motivate people. I wanted to find a way help people focus on their dreams and put time towards their long-term goals with the immediate good feeling that comes from philanthropy.

What has been the user response for Pause For?
Phenomenal, it blows me away a lot of times. Some of the support emails we receive are amazing stories. One individual reached out who had been reliant on food banks in their life and aren’t anymore, but not in a financial situation to give back. They have been using Pause For religiously to try to give back. To me, that email was just crazy to get. People really latched on to the idea and are using it in ways that I never saw possible or never would have thought about.

How did you choose the charities?
At this stage of our project, we needed charitable impacts that are broad enough to motivate everyone. People are very passionate about animals, helping their fellow man and the environment, so we posted impacts related to each. Now with our expanding user base and requests from our users and other charities, we will start to expand into even more global charities based on the fact that we have users all over the world.

Any Stats that you would like to share?
As of today:

  • 3,333 meals donated through Feeding America
  • 537 trees planted through One Tree Planted
  • 209 months of heartworm vaccinations for dogs through The Inner Pup
  • 112 cataract surgeries funded through The Himalayan Cataract Project

What got you interested in Kin?
I started being interested in cryptocurrency with Ethereum. I then heard about Kin when everyone was getting caught up in the different coins coming out. I invested in the token distribution event and was on the email list. Pause For was already underway at the time. The original idea was for every minute there would be a certain number of cents or dollars that went to a charity. We realized it would be more impactful for the users if they could collect their minutes and give them in a more meaningful way. For example, providing one whole meal as I mentioned earlier. After we started talking about that, the next day, I got an email about the Kin Developer Program and just started looking into it more and everything matched up very well. It was chance, good timing and good fit.

You were recently accepted into the second Kin Developer Program with a new app called Hangmeme. Why did you decide to apply again?
When developing Pause For, the biggest chunks of our time were put towards the Kin integration. The technology is so new and working with it is not something a lot of people know how to do. When I heard about the second Kin Developer Program, I wanted to get another perspective of how we can use Kin. Hangmeme, is a way for us to learn more from a different perspective about the different ways Kin can be used to drive engagement and provide value.

Why should other developers build with Kin?
The thing I’m most excited for with Kin is having the community of apps that are all looking out for each other. When you are building without Kin, there is a lot of competition trying to tear you down and big corporations controlling the space by throwing around their bags of advertising money. What excites me about Kin is that there is a coalition of apps that all share each others’ best interests. With that, you have a lot more power when you start as a 3 person team with a tiny app with a thousand users. You usually don’t have a lot of sway, but when you combine that into the ecosystem it becomes a lot more powerful.

What’s next for Pause For?
We are currently planning for the blockchain migration. After that, the next step is releasing on Android straight to the Kin blockchain to avoid migrating those new users. After Android is released, we are working on a global donation counter. Right now on Pause For, each user can see what they have contributed personally. For example, I can see that I’ve contributed 8 meals and provided 6 months of heartworm vaccinations for dogs. We want to put together a global counter to show what Pause For users are capable of.

Download Pause For today on iOS and follow their progress on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Want to join Pause For and other like minded developers? Apply for the Kin Developer Program and join our developer community.

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