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用区块链打破APP销售平台垄断

当我们想购买数字化内容的时候,备选方案有很多。但是在购买应用程序方面,目前却只有两种主要选项:App Store和Google Play Store。

然而,区块链技术却有可能帮助我们撬动这个770亿美元的应用程序市场。

区块链解决应用商店存在的问题

区块链具有巨大的发展潜力,因为它提供了前所未有的、透明化的、并且是可以访问的公共分类账簿,重新定义了交易模式。如果能把这种技术正确应用到应用商店领域,就能解决三个主要的低效率问题:

广告:广告技术中间商不仅让程序开发方的获客过程不透明,而且成本高昂。未来,我们或许可以利用区块链这种智能指令来建立应用程序开发者和用户之间的直接关系,消除中间人的角色。

应用程序内部结算:应用程序商店目前针对每一次购买应用程序的交易都会抽取30%的费用。而通过区块链,可以引入无摩擦的方式来支付应用程序商品,从而消除银行费用和汇率差异。

应用程序审批:与App Store相比,Google Play Store的安全性有待加强。通过开发基于开发人员交易记录的新型信誉系统,并将其在区块链上公开,从而形成开发一个更加透明和安全的环境。

Statista的数据显示,目前在Google Play Store中有超过280万个应用程序,而在App Store中有220万个。为了能够脱颖而出,应用程序的开发人员会投资于CPI(单次安装成本)的竞争。但中介机构使这个过程变得昂贵而又不够透明。

但是通过使用智能指令,我们可以消除中间机构,并创造一个新的方式来获取将用户,而无需再通过CPI的竞争。我们可以将其称之为CPAt。这允许开发者直接奖励那些在应用程序内花费至少两分钟时间的用户。我们进行过一次内部UX测试,结果显示两分钟是用户对应用程序做出理性决定所花费的最少时间。

当一次CPAt单元完成后,一条智能指令将从开发者的钱包转移到用户的钱包。然后用户会获得代币,从而用于购买应用程序商品,从而形成一个完整的回路。通过使用智能指令,我们可以保证用户在应用程序中花费必要的时间。如果用户未能达到两分钟的门槛,他们将不会获得任何代币。

所有的交易都将被注册在区块链上,从而保证用户的真实性。下载和参与可以在公共分类帐中得以实现,以便应用程序的开发者可以确认用户是否已经安装了该应用程序。同时会减少广告欺诈的风险,这意味着避免了由于欺诈造成的每年8.5亿美元的损失。

应用程序购买

为没有银行账户的人消除障碍

We Are Social的报告显示,世界上有一半以上的人使用智能手机。然而世界银行的报告显示,这些智能手机用户中有20亿人无法使用信用卡等付款方式来购买应用程序。

通过CPAt模式,用户可以获得代币来购买他们喜欢的游戏或应用程序,从而打破循环经济并解决这个问题。

公平地奖励开发者

如上文所述,应用程序商店会抽取30%的费用,而开发者只能获取剩余70%的交易价值。区块链技术将消除由于中间商产生的大部分费用,从而开发者能够获取用户花费的代币价值的85%。

我们与超过12000名开发人员进行了交谈,从而发现了85%这个数字比例。并且他们也同意在激励他们继续工作的同时,兼顾补偿OEM(原始设备制造商)和应用程序商店,因为这二者管理和销售他们的应用程序。

应用程序审批

现行的应用程序审批流程非常复杂。集中式应用程序商店具备严格的质量保证体系和不透明的分销政策。举例来说,我们有一个应用程序已经被Google Play Store禁止多年,因此不得不向监管机构提出投诉。

通过使用区块链来创建开发者信誉系统,应用程序审批过程将变得普及化和透明化。然后该信誉系统将与公共分类账上的金融交易相挂钩,并且可以被审计。同时还可以创建评价系统,从而让代币持有者为开发者和他们发布的应用程序进行排名。

奖励机制:奖励制造商(OEM)

在新型的基于区块链的应用程序商店中,全部交易的5%将转入到设备制造商(OEM)。这在从未有过。但从与全球70多家OEM的合作经历来看,我们能得出结论:他们是应用程序新市场中的重要利益相关者,因而理应得到相应的回报。

结论

总而言之,区块链技术可以通过与开发者分享更多收入来完全重构应用程序市场,同时使制造商能够第一次从应用程序市场中受益,并且还会以代币来奖励用户。因此,所有利益相关者(除谷歌和苹果之外)都将从基于区块链的应用程序商店模式中获益。

当然,使用区块链技术也存在一些固有的挑战。如下:

可扩展性:目前,以太坊网络每天只能处理50万笔交易。

速度:以太坊上的交易最多可能需要10秒才能完成。这可能会造成不好的用户体验。

成本:当前0.05 ETH的处理费用对于在应用程序市场中的小型交易来说可能还不够低廉。

但区块链社区已经在着手解决这些挑战。以太坊创始人Vitalik Buterin在今年的DevCon3大会上提出了分片方法,以解决可扩展性和速度的问题。但即便如此,想要解决我们在这里提出的挑战也绝非易事。

After leading a successful Series A round, Tiago is now VP Asia Pacific at Aptoide leading the business in the region and preparing the future Series B round. You can create a community post just like Tiago here.

When you want to buy digital content today, there are hundreds of alternatives to choose from. But when it comes to apps, there are only two main options: the App Store and Google Play Store.

By taking advantage of blockchain technology, however, it’s possible to disrupt the US$77 billion app economy.

Blockchain addressing app store problems

he blockchain has huge potential because it offers an unprecedented, transparent, and accessible public ledger that can redesign the way transactions are made. If correctly applied to the app store economy, it can address three major inefficiencies:

Advertising: Ad tech middlemen make user acquisition non-transparent and costly. It’s possible to use smart contracts to establish direct relationships between app developers and users and eliminate intermediaries.

In-app billing: App stores currently take a 30 percent cut from each in-app purchase. With blockchain, it’s possible to introduce a frictionless method to pay for in-app items, removing bank fees and exchange rate discrepancies.

App approval: The Google Play Store has a reputation for being unsafe when compared to the App store. By developing a new reputation system based on a developer’s track record of transactions, which will be public in the blockchain, it’s possible to develop a more transparent and secure environment.

Here are more details on how each of these challenges can be tackled by taking advantage of blockchain technology.

Advertising

According to Statista, there are now more than 2.8 million apps in the Google Play Store and 2.2 million in the App Store. To stand out, developers invest in CPI (cost per install) campaigns. But intermediaries make this process expensive and non-transparent.

By using smart contracts, we can eliminate middlemen and create a new method to acquire users that will make CPI campaigns obsolete. We can call this CPAt (cost per attention). This allows a developer to directly reward a user for spending at least two minutes inside the app. We did an internal UX test which showed that two minutes was the minimum amount of time it takes for a user to make an informed decision about an app.

When one CPAt unit has been completed, a smart contract makes a transfer from the developer’s wallet to the user’s. The user then earns tokens, which can be used to buy in-app items (see the section below for more details), closing the loop. By using smart contracts, we can guarantee that the user spends the required time in the app. If the user fails to reach the two-minute threshold, they won’t earn any tokens.

All the transactions will be registered on the blockchain to guarantee user authenticity. Downloads and engagements will be available in the public ledger so an app developer can confirm that a user has actually installed the app. This will also reduce the risk of advertising fraud, which is responsible for over US$850 million in losses per year.

In-app purchases

Removing barriers for the unbanked

According to a report by We Are Social, more than half of the world now uses a smartphone. But according to a World Bank report, 2 billion of these smartphone users do not have access to payment methods required for in-app purchases such as credit cards.

With the proposed CPAt model, users can earn tokens to spend on their favorite game or app, closing the circular economy and solving this problem.

Rewarding developers fairly

As I mentioned earlier, app stores take a 30 percent cut, leaving developers with only 70 percent in in-app purchase transaction values. Blockchain technology will remove a lot of these fees by taking the middlemen out and rewarding developers with 85 percent of the tokens users spend.

The 85 percent figure was chosen after we spoke with over 12,000 developers who agreed that this would represent a good balance between incentivizing them to continue working while also compensating OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and stores for hosting and selling their apps.

App approval

The existing app approval process today is complex. Centralized app stores have strict quality assurance and non-transparent distribution policies. Case in point, we have an app that’s been banned from the Google Play Store for many years now and have had to file complaints with some regulators.

By using blockchain to create a developer reputation system, app approvals will become universal and more transparent. This reputation system will then be tied to financial transactions on the public ledger and be made auditable. A dispute system can also be created so token holders can create rankings for developers and the apps they publish.

Bonus: Rewarding manufacturers (OEMs)

If you take a look at the circular diagram at the beginning of this article, you’ll notice that 5 percent of all transactions within the new blockchain-based store will go to device manufacturers (OEMs). This is unheard of. But from working with more than 70 OEMs around the world, we’ve concluded that they are important stakeholders in the new app economy and should be rewarded accordingly.

Conclusion

In summary, blockchain technology can completely restructure the app economy by sharing more revenue with developers, allowing manufacturers to benefit from the app economy for the first time, and rewarding users with tokens. Thus, all stakeholders (besides Google and Apple) will substantially benefit from the new blockchain-based app store economy.

Naturally, there are some inherent challenges to using blockchain technology as well. They are as follows:

Scalability: Currently, the Ethereum network only processes 500,000 transactions per day.

Speed: A transaction on Ethereum may take up to 10 seconds to process. This may hurt user experience.

Cost: The current 0.05 ETH processing fee may not be low enough for the micro-transactions that occur regularly in the app economy.

But these challenges are already being addressed by the blockchain community. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin presented plans for a sharding approach at this year’s DevCon3 conference to address scalability and speed issues.

But even with all this, what we’re proposing here is no easy task.


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