Blockchain. When it strolled into the mainstream, majority of people saw it just as a staple term that follows the news about leading cryptocurrencies. Stories about individuals who gained fortune overnight have been replaced by those about investments that are essential to acquire that fortune, and then the focus gradually begun to shift to the technology behind it all. Among other things, new concepts were born – decentralized platforms have been created that offer users the opportunity to value content and gain benefits that (already) traditional networks cannot provide.
According to the morning report, during twenty-three years of existence, he has contributed over a million verified moments into the collective network of the city, in which he felt untouchable until a couple of months ago. However, while the courteous voice of the virtual assistant made a formal introduction, he knew he was attending what he could foresee for some time now based on personal statistics. The Company has verified the system order for his deletion from the network.
“… Your profile has been discontinued. Leave the city.”
On one different morning, years before the event mentioned in the above paragraph, at the agency we talked about the fate of the person from the intro to the SF story, which we simply couldn’t translate into reality. The future in which the status of a citizen is sustained through constant appreciation of life through user content that we are obliged to leave on the net represented a dystopic environment that cries for the ordinary human story to enliven it. Ultimately, it remained untold, losing her curiosity due to the fact that reality once again proved that it is ready to change faster than we are able to anticipate. While we are naturally trying to shape it, and in it find a place for us and those who count on us, we are often like the protagonist from that never-written story, living to see someone telling us that that what we thought we know well, will never be the same again.
…over a million verified moments…
Last year on the Izazov (Challenge) forum we held a workshop on User Created Content and Cryptocurrencies – New Perspectives. We wanted to talk to colleagues from the industry and to representatives of companies about the new horizons that can be brought by different applications of blockchain technology. People are prone to sensations, so we often witness reactions that give trends almost revolutionary significance, and this often spills into our field of work as well. That’s why we thought it was important that already from the beginning we pause for a moment, and come up with conclusions that will help us (if nothing else) to make an assumption about the extent to which that which is coming will influence our work. We agreed that one of the key challenges will be to keep pace with the moment, dialogue with the public and recognition of mutual interests in a new context. But we also realized that once again, all that we’ve built will not collapse overnight, but that we will enrich our practice with some new channels of communication and game rules.
And there will be games.
For example, Steemit is one of the most popular platforms based on Steem blockchain today. It allows users to earn revenue through creation of content on their personal blogs, in the form of Steem cryptocurrency – if others value their content. The number of followers and friends doesn’t play a significant role on this platform. The key is to create quality inputs that will become recognized as a value. However, earning is not the only component that makes it different. Unburdened by censorship, users themselves create rules, which at the moment has both positive and negative sides. What is worth mentioning is the expansion of projects and micro communities that gather individuals around different ideas. They invest money in creating creative centers, help local communities, reward scientific works, open source concepts, or fight against plagiarism and other forms of abuse. It is no longer something we are waiting for to arrive into our region. Recently, users from Serbia have also launched the project Team Serbia, with the aim of empowering and networking the local community. It already plays a significant role in promoting and rewarding quality content.
Of course, these are just parts of the puzzle. Blockchain brings a whole new dimension to crowdfunding. Apart from projects funded under existing platforms, without the intermediation of services such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, we encounter at every step those who finance themselves through ICOs of their own cryptocurrencies. Some of them shut down, and some grow into success stories. It is also important to emphasize that more and more projects do not base their starting operations exclusively on ICO campaigns, but already finished or initially defined products.
One thing is certain – blockchain has arrived to our region, and by the looks of it, it plans to stay. The changes that it brings may be too early to analyze from the aspect of the form, but not in terms of their essence. We often talk to people from Serbia, the region, but also from America, Australia and India and almost all agree on one thing – recognizing the opportunities that it creates will be one of the key tasks in the near future. This is reinforced by out conversation last week with representatives of one Belgian company. They have created a brilliant product – an online platform that connects users and providers of specific services through the exchange of virtual tokens. Discussing developmental directions, we pointed out to them the possibility of using blockchain technology for which they have all but prepared the terrain. We ended our meeting full of optimism and plans for some further steps that could lead us to the beginning of our cooperation.
And, in the end, great predictions of dramatic changes that will take us to utopian or dystopian extreme should, at least when our profession is concerned, remain in the domain of fiction. The same fiction to which the excerpt from the beginning of this article belongs. The future will be shaped by small strokes, and in this process a significant role belongs to us as well. The world as we know it will not stop turning. On the contrary – it turns faster and faster, but we don’t have to race with it. Our paths have been trodden long ago, and they are marathon tracks. All the rest are just signs along the road. And signs we need to talk about.
For that, we are always here.
The text was originally published at https://www.media-marketing.com