Do you know what the most played and most controversial game of our lives is?
I believe it is “The Money Game” and I don’t mean Monopoly. Our wealth is the largest global leaderboard. We all are playing – some more succesfully, some less. Few have a good headstart when they join, many are basically disqualified at the beginning.
In any case, making, accumulating and spending money as well as creating wealth are things we are all familiar with, love them or hate them.
At Rubix we think web3 is here to help level the playing field. It is not gonna solve the inequality, but it has a great potential to help and improve the space. This is why we decided to build something we call the “Earning Protocol”.
Let me explain what we mean by that and how we plan to get there.
Equal Earning Opportunities
One thing I love about web3 is that it usually does not discriminate. And if there is a way to engage, anyone can do that – no matter where in the world they are and no matter what others (corporations, governments) think about them. The main challenge these days is the complex UX of web3 platforms, but that is a topic for another time.
Web3 can and will bring new earning opportunities to people. Since many web3 protocols and platforms are peer-to-peer, it can simplify settling payments for tasks both locally (in communities) and globally. As a result, Web3 will be useful for offering and acceptance online (e.g. content creation, software development, e-commerce) and offline (e.g. deliveries, food industry, small and large maintenance tasks) earning opportunities. Of course, offline tasks can only be resolved locally in the community, but the non-discriminative nature will provide the opportunity for more members of these communities to participate.
Any new business, platform or protocol usually struggles with a cold-start problem – your platform may be great, but if there are no users there is no supply, which means there is no reason for users to create demand.
Often the way to overcome this cold-start is to subsidize the launch – give something for free to attract users. Web3 makes this easier as you can distribute tokens, attract users and then, if the added value is high enough, users will stick around and start the “flywheel” of onboarding new users, using the platform, spending and earning the tokens, etc.
Current market conditions make this really hard. You cannot just distribute and pump fundamentally worthless tokens where users expect them to accrue value over time – current sentiment is that such tokens will never ever accrue any value. Ever.
With that in mind, we had to change our approach to overcoming the cold-start and had to add a Phase 0 in front of our Phase 1.
Phase 0 – NFT Engagement
NFTs did not suffer as much as fungible tokens in the crypto and tech-asset price slide in early 2022. It may be because they are new, but it also might mean there is some deeper value behind them that people are seeing. I don’t necessarily mean monetary value, but actual inherent usefulness incorporated into what they represent (see my post about this).
To onboard users (both on the supply and demand side) we are building a platform which will enable businesses to launch NFT collections, add utility, and then allow the customers to leverage that utility in a verifiable way, whether its in a real or virtual world.
The goal is to seed the Rubix ecosystem with users who get real value right at the start. No false promises of “moon soon”. We will onboard businesses who are excited about their NFTs bringing another engagement and marketing avenue, which will create supply. We will then help them onboard their loyal customers who already know and love the business and are eager to also find new ways how to engage, which will fulfill the demand side of the protocol.
These users will likely stick around for the next phases and build the base of a sustainable earning protocol.
Phase 1 – Introducing Earning Opportunities to Rubix Users
This was supposed to be our first phase. Earning opportunities – think micro-tasks like referring a friend, watching an ad, filling out a survey. Simple things to allow users to experience the flow and get some rewards. For us, this offers another faucet for onboarding new users and to test our approach and see what works and what needs improving.
At this stage, the tasks were supposed to be posted by Rubix itself to incentivize users to come on board. Since we will already have users coming through the NFT Engagement platform, it might end up being a mixed experience with tasks from both Rubix and the businesses already present in our ecosystem.
Phase 2 – Expand and Explore
Once we are sure our approaches work, we will expand our protocol and platform. Extend the protocol to support more different kinds of earning opportunities. Work with the larger community to build tools for community devs to extend the protocol further. Setup a better governance of the protocol, potentially even start turning it into a DAO.
At this stage most of the tasks should come from the businesses or local communities and they will potentially become more complex and bridge the virtual (web3 based earning protocol) and real (brick and mortar business) worlds.
We plan on providing not only the earning protocol to connect the supply and demand sides of the equation, but also an analytics and business intelligence platform on top of the open data which the protocol will accumulate. Analytics will allow businesses to see who, when and where is most engaging, and how they can improve and help more.
On the other hand, we have plenty of ideas about how users might interact with our app to find new opportunities. Once you add augmented or mixed reality into the mix, the possibilies are basically limitless and we always get a bit too excited when we let our creativity loose.
Phase 3 – Live, Contribute and Earn
Since our first discussions, we knew our mission is to help people to get to earning opportunities. We believe that open, community driven platforms and protocols have the most chances to actually fairly share the rewards with their users.
With that in mind, we hope to further pursue the decentralization and openness of our Earning Protocol in this phase. Allowing more users on the supply side – not only approved and verified businesses and communities, but anyone being able to post tasks and earning opportunities.
Anyone should be able to pick the tasks up and execute them. For that we need to build a good reputation system and matching engine. The data and experiences from the previous stages will allow us to do just that.
One problem of building open systems on public blockchains is privacy. We need to make sure users’ privacy can be preserved, monitored and managed by the users themselves and that there is no way for us or anyone to sell our user information – in other words, to make sure we do not slip back into web2 ways of handling user data.
This is not going to be easy, but there is a lot of going on in the space of Digital/Decentralized Identities, so we are not in this alone.
To sum up, let me just say that we have a lot to figure out, plan, research and develop. Having the NFT Engagement as a starting point sounded to some of us as a distraction from getting to our destination – the Earning Protocol. In reality, it is a very good first step in getting to know our users and the market better. It will allow us to on-board users and turn them into community and contributors which will then help us get to our destination faster.
If you want to join us on our mission to build a global earning network. Reach out to one of us personally via LinkedIn, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.