While the cryptocurrency markets and underlying technologies are developing, we are in the middle of what might look from the outside a teenager phase. The market is impulsive and easily manipulated, Pump and Dumps groups are still active, and qualitative news and analyses are hard to find.
These are the problem the cryptocurrency news itself, but another significant issue is less often discussed: the crypto discussion essentially happens on old, data-hungry and trading platforms such as Facebook, Reddit, Telegram and of course here on Medium. It comes with several issues, some of which connected with the problems mentioned before:
- Virality is disconnected from quality | The most popular contents are not the qualitative ones (Facebook is a perfect example of this), but the most engaging ones. Scams or other fake trade training can spread if people share them (they do).
- Users forgo ownership of their data | Users have no control over their identity on the platform. They don’t know how their data is used precisely, and even if they delete their account, they have no guarantees that their data will no be used anymore for advertising purposes.
- The platforms’ business model is unsustainable |To keep developing their profit, the platforms have only have a few options, all equally as damaging for the user: such as increasing the amount of ad, gathering more/more precise data, or selling the data to more people. Essentially, the more the platform develops its revenue streams, the more the user data is exposed.
Note: I won’t address the issues of traditional social networks in this article. It’s still a critical dimension to understand the pertinence of Hilo’s approach to the problem.
The good news is that a couple of months ago I wrote two articles on this topic. The first one address the consequences for the user and the second one details the impact on the whole society, and the loss of political and individual power that comes with the loss of ownership over our data.
HILO, A SOCIAL CRYPTO NETWORK
Someone that has been active in the crypto markets for a while will use countless of different services to track its assets and keep himself/herself informed will instantly see the value of a single service for all.
For less experienced users, the project can be hard to apprehend because nothing equivalent is currently live. If you consider the services currently available, Hilo is bit like a 4-in-1, with the added value provided by the synergies:
- Blockfolio | Personal crypto portfolio tracker,
- CoinMarketCap | Coin Discovery,
- CryptoPanic | Crypto news syndicator and market sentiment,
- Steemit | Decentralized Reddit-like (content syndication).
We’ll go through the main features provided by the platform to portray an accurate depiction of the whole.
The portfolio tracking feature is the easiest to comprehend. The user can connect wallets or exchange accounts to keep track of its assets and transactions. Each user will be able to connect up to two exchange/wallet account for free, and more will be available by paying a HILO fee.
Hilo’s Portfolio View (Source: Whitepaper)
Once the connection is set, the user will be able to access to a comprehensive overview of its crypto assets and their current valuation. About 30 different exchanges are currently integrated, and the team is working towards 90 for the launch.
The monitoring of wallets is automatic and done using the public key. Therefore, no special access is needed. To connect to exchange wallets, the exchanges API are used. They generally use a key-based authentication system, and you can set the key to read-only (on Binance for instance).
One of the features that got me the most excited about HILO is called the social graph. It’s an interactive graph which user can comment and annotate. It will require some form of filtering, but I think that if the feature is carefully tested and optimized it could become a key part of the success of the platform.
Hilo’s Social Graph (Source: Whitepaper)
Hilo’s team envisioned a gamification system (more on this below) and the ability for users to ear HILO rewards for their contributions to the platform to foster qualitative exchanges.
Users will be able to follow one another on the platform to be notified of new contributions. While the ability to make call mentioned before will be available to everyone, it might become particularly important for influencers. Indeed, the difference between a call made through regular means and a crypto-backed call is significant.
Let’s say it’s a tweet: $BTC will hit $52,343 in 2018 The immutability of blockchain allow for provable predictions that cannot be faked. If the prediction turns out to be true, the author will be able to prove its authenticity (including the date the prediction was made) and ownership. A whole market is building up for blockchain based forecasting services, with projects like Augur.
Influencers will also be able to monetize their assets allocation. If they so chose, they can gate access to their (fantasy) portfolios behind a HILO fee with the pay to unlock feature.
GAMIFICATION AND DISCOVERY
Hilo’s project plan to harness the full potential offered by blockchain for a social network. The platform development is driven by actions incentivized through gamification. These include: signing up, linking a wallet, completing a user profile, making calls or posts…
As the users complete these challenges, they receive badges displayed on their profiles. When a certain number of a badge is collected, a user can level up, gaining a HILO reward and access to new aesthetic customization functions on the platform.
The HILO reward is taken from the User Growth Pool (UGP). This pool is in service of the platform development and user growth, funded by low fees (2 to 5%) on certain actions involving HILO on the platform such as the pay to unlock or certain messaging features.
Hilo’s Discover Tab (Source: Whitepaper)
The discovery tab is like a built-in coinmarketcap.com. You can search for coin and tokens, create watch lists, and see the biggest movers of the day both volume and price wise.
To concur with the gamification features, the v2 of the platform will offer a fantasy portfolio option. Users will be able to track, share and monetize virtual portfolio made of up to 20 different crypto tokens. This will allow beginners to get experience with cryptocurrencies before they commit real capital.
No preview of the feature is available yet, but you can expect to look very much like the real portfolio presented above.
DASHBOARD AND NOTIFICATIONS
The dashboard enables users to view a comprehensive overview of the market (Market Capitalization), of the activity of those they follow (Activity), and what’s trending on Hilo.
Hilo’s Dashboard (Source: Whitepaper)
The users can see the coins trending on Hilo over the past day, week, or month. Those are the most discussed projects across the public sections of Hilo.
Finally, the last panel gives an overview of the highs and lows. All panels can be set up to display either hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly data.
DECENTRALIZED NETWORK AND TOKENIZED GOVERNANCE
Hilo’s team put a great emphasis on the decentralization of both the network data infrastructure and its governance. At the very beginning of the whitepaper, in the abstract, it is reminded that:
User data is owned by users, not by the platform.The platform has no access to user data, thereby ensuring user privacy.Users reward one another for great content.Users significantly control platform governance.
Decentralization is needed from the very beginning, especially in its governance aspect. Without a community-driven governance model, the platform will grow in a direction that might eventually turn off users.
Regarding the user data, the ownership is kept by the platform user, and the platform has no access to it. Ownership of the data might not seem like a big deal to some, but as the platform grows so does the data; with years of use, it can become a very accurate and exploitable portrait of the user (hello Facebook). Preserving the user privacy will help build and maintain trust in the service in the long term.
Hilo will be available through a website, and mobile apps on both iOS and Android. The HILO token is an ERC-20 token (based on Ethereum). Using an established and leading protocol will grant access to interesting partnerships such as Civic, the secure identity ecosystem that is also one of the backers.
HILO, A PLACE FOR ANYONE?
HILO aims to be an inclusive platform for the cryptocurrency community. The platform’s features were designed to promote the exchange of resources and information between beginners, experts, and influencers.
The main feature everybody will benefit from is the base Hilo platform itself: a comprehensive asset tracking solution which integrates with the main exchange and wallet services. The social features, such as the interactive graphs, leaderboards, and community reviews will allow for interactions between users from a different level of expertise.
On top of the universal features, more specific ones are envisioned to cater to the needs of each particular profile:
- The badge system will help crypto beginners learn about the basics interactively: signup, identity verification, wallet linking.
- Crypto experts and influencers can make public calls about the market and get a proof of them through the badge system. The leaderboard will feature a ranking of the most accurate callers.
- Finally, influencers may explore a potential extra revenue stream, with “pay-to-unlock”: their assets allocations will only be visible to those who pay a HILO fee.
While the model presented by Hilo is attractive, it currently can not be sustained at full scale on the Ethereum blockchain. Luckily, as the project will develop, so will the Ethereum network infrastructure. A major update is coming up, Casper: the protocol used to verify transaction will switch from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake increasing the verification speed, while the use of sharding will massively increase scalability.
The waitlist for the token sale is open. A plan of the first three versions of the platform is available on the website. A lot of finetuning and development will be needed on the platform before it’s ready to welcome hundreds of thousands of users. It’s about who will be ready and prepared when the flock arrives.
This article was written in exchange for a potential token reward through Bounty0x.
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OFFICIAL SOCIAL NETWORK ACCOUNTS
Hilo, the place where the crypto community can learn, share and grow? was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.