CHICAGO, IL – As both Bitcoin and Ethereum reach new all-time highs, there is heightened interest from all types of investors within the blockchain space. This new interest is being fueled, in part, by large institutional investors who have largely been on the sidelines up until now. One fund in particular has seen a meteoric 900% increase in digital assets under management, up $18B over the last 12 months, with large investors consisting of hedge funds, endowments and pension funds, among others.
The Rise of “DeFi”
One new category within the blockchain space which saw a meteoric rise during 2020 is decentralized financed, or “DeFi” as its more commonly known among the crypto community online. With help from the Ethereum blockchain’s programmable “smart contracts”, many new decentralized applications are emerging that mirror the functionality typically only seen in traditional bank instruments. These DeFi apps include lending and borrowing platforms, tokenized CDs, bonds, liquidity pools, and trading exchanges, among others. These DeFi platforms have exploded in popularity over the last 12 months going from near-zero to now over $52B TLV and growing fast.
Enter Swapp Protocol
One much-anticipated launch within the defi arena is Swapp Protocol. Swapp is described by the founders as, “A fairly launched, community-driven yield-farming and auto-compounding defi protocol built on the Ethereum blockchain”. Swapp is emerging from a crowded field of rising star defi projects as a leader by bringing together a number of popular features from hit projects seen during the 2020 DeFi boom. But one big differentiator for Swapp is how its backed by a “real company”. This might sound odd, but shockingly most of even the most popular defi projects to date have little or no use case beyond what they do within the crypto world. In contrast, Swapp’s sister entity is an established “big data” company, one that specializes in cookie-less online tracking and privacy-focused data monetization, mostly for large publisher websites.
The Smartphone App
At the core of the long-term Swapp business model is its smartphone app built for ios and Android. The app enables users to, “Install, Authenticate, and Earn” as the marketing wizards at Swapp put it. On the surface, app users are presented with an attractive concept: “Start getting paid for the data you are giving away already”. Upon launching the app, users are presented with a list of brand logos of familiar accounts they likely already have on other platforms. Think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. Users can click on each icon to “authenticate” the data transfer from those apps to the swapp identity graph, which in turn segments and combines that encrypted data with other useful signals to monetize at the data exchange level, just like the tech giants do. The key difference is that since Swapp is decentralized, 100% of the data monetization revenue flows back to the end users (compensated in the form of Swapp tokens). Yes, that’s correct. 100% of the revenue flows back to the end users. If Swapp is able to gain mass adoption from both the crypto community as well as the general retail user base, this is going to shape up to be a massive disruption in the $1.2T/yr data monetization industry.
Data Monetization, Meet DeFi
Swapp represents two different worlds coming together. On the surface is the proven data monetization model, but this legacy AdTech ecosystem injected with rocket fuel in how its built on top of a powerful decentralized blockchain. Can these two worlds over-lay and create the decentralized data monetization utopia that Swapp is aiming for? Many blockchain experts say yes.
Why go Decentralized?
By leveraging the programmatic nature of an Ethereum smart contract, creators of these decentralized platforms are able to leverage all the benefits of their “real-world” counterparts while eliminating what they consider to be the downside of traditional systems including that of the banking world: costly overhead, infrastructure, personnel, and perhaps most notably: profit. When there is no centralized business at the center of a bank, nearly 100% of the profits can be distributed to the stakeholders. The stakeholders of a DeFi platform are typically share (token) holders and liquidity providers.
Comparing Swapp to the Brave model:
With over 20M users, the popular Brave Browser has proven that a fully opt-in data monetization model truly can gain mass adoption. Brave has a similar proposition for users: Surf the web the same way you normally do, and get rewarded in the form of crypto tokens (BAT). Brave’s model is perhaps even more ambitious than that of Swapp because in the case of Brave: They displaced both the bloated middlemen of the advertising ecosystem as well as the ad networks themselves, connecting advertisers directly to consumers. Swapp is taking a more systematic approach in an effort to gain mass adoption faster: first displace the middlemen, then build an entirely new ad network. Only time will tell which approach is superior, but one thing is for sure: users LOVE getting paid for what they are doing already.
To learn more about Swapp Protocol or to participate in the presale launch, check out their website here: https://swapp.org/