Bitcoin Press Release: Because of their extraordinary rise in value, cryptocurrencies have dominated headlines for more than a year. They’ve attracted millions of new investors, established markets where none existed, and made a host of believers in the future of digital money.
All of this excitement has also brought an increasing awareness to the prowess of the technology that undergirds digital currencies: the blockchain. It consists of several components that offer compelling solutions to some of the most prominent problems impacting the digital economy.
More specifically, it allows companies to develop new platforms on top of its technology, and these platforms can reflect the decentralized and autonomous ethos that comprises the blockchain.
That’s why, as Steven Johnson writes in The New York Times Magazine, “The Bitcoin bubble may ultimately turn out to be a distraction from the true significance of the blockchain.” This isn’t an insult to Bitcoin, which has clearly demonstrated its own prowess in the crypto economy. Rather, it’s a powerful endorsement of the blockchain economy and the new platforms that develop within it.
Using Blockchain For Building Relationships
Ponder, a blockchain-based application for facilitating connections, is one of the latest examples of this concept.
Most people can identify someone who is directly responsible for introducing them to a love interest or vouching for them at a job. These events have the feeling of serendipity, but they are actually a lot more necessary than many people think. For example, a 2016 survey found that 85% of all jobs are acquired from some form of networking. LinkedIn reports that job candidates are eight times more likely to get hired if they have a personal connection at the company.
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The same is true in our romantic relationships. Although the numbers vary and are difficult to quantify, there is substantial evidence that people are more likely to find a suitable partner if they have a personal connection in common.
Unfortunately, these personal connections can be difficult to attain when they are needed most. We are busier than ever before, and helping friends find jobs or dates just can’t be our highest priority. What’s more, for those looking for these things, it can be awkward to ask for help or even to know who to ask for help if the opportunity were presented.
These principles are nothing new, and traditional services like LinkedIn and Match.com have tried to facilitate these connections, but generic algorithms and unbridled faith in human altruism just don’t get the job done.
While these platforms have proven to be incredibly popular, they have not proven to be especially effective. For instance, more than 30% of online dating platform users have never gone on a date with someone who they met on the platform. LinkedIn is trying to facilitate new job opportunities, but it primarily relies on relationships that people already have, not recommendations for new, professional associations.
In contrast, Ponder applies gamification principles to the personal introduction economy and provides a financial incentive for being good at making connections with other people. Its use cases are broad because it can facilitate personal relationships in virtually any capacity, but it has several obvious implications for professionals trying to acquire a new job.
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Using the Ponder platform, a user can recommend a friend for a job at his or her company. If both the company and the friend like the recommendation, the user is paid a finder’s fee for their time and effort. Since Ponder has already applied these same principles to the dating scene, they are well-versed in the benefits of the blockchain in facilitating payments for their user’s contributions.
Interestingly, companies can take this a step further and develop a referral community for their products and services. Using this service, customers can recommend a company and be compensated for their efforts. Since a personal recommendation is the most effective form of advertising, it only makes sense that those issuing the referral should be paid for their efforts. Ponder capitalizes on the blockchain’s capabilities to make that possible.
The blockchain is creating a new digital economy built on decentralization, smart contracts, and p2p networking. This is providing an opportunity for new companies to rewrite the rules and to develop new, more effective platforms for some of our most pressing issues today. Ponder is doing that for personal connections, and it’s exciting to think about the possibilities as it continues to proliferate onward.
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