AppCoins: Disrupting the App Economy

06 Dec 2017

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Apps are taking the world by storm. Since the creation of the Apple App store in 2008, more than 180 billion apps have been downloaded. By 2020, the current 2.1 billion smartphone users are expected to double. However, today’s app economy still presents three main flaws: inefficient mobile advertising, inaccessible app purchases and non-transparent app approval. These flaws exist partially due to the lack of technological advancements, middleman-based services, and to the monopolies created by big players in the market.

From a user perspective, the most evident flaw is the inaccessibility of in-app purchases. It is estimated that around 2 billion individuals lack the online payment methods necessary to make in-app purchases and only 5% of smartphone users are making in-app purchases through native advertising.

For users, not having a transparent app approval process also results in the accidental distribution of malware, which can ultimately harm user devices and threaten personal data.

Finally, the existence of several payment and Adtech intermediaries reduces potential returns for developers, who see large cuts of their investment being taken up by middlemen.

What is AppCoins?

Aptoide, one of the largest Android app stores in the world, has set on a mission to build the solution. With over 200 million active users, 4 billion downloads and 6 years on the market, Aptoide has developed in-house expertise on the major issues that apps and app stores face today. They are building what may become the foundation of our future app and dApp economy, the AppCoins Protocol.

Based on the Ethereum blockchain, AppCoins will be the first open and distributed protocol for the app economy and a cryptocurrency that users can earn and spend within app stores. AppCoins works by automating certain processes that have so far been executed by middleman and intermediaries, such as payment processing and mobile advertising.

It also creates new incentives for users to engage with apps, since they can now earn AppCoins by engaging with sponsored apps. By doing so, Aptoide is not only able to make certain processes more efficient, it is also able to retain more value for the parties directly involved, the user and the developer.

How does it work?

So, how does AppCoins work? Well, it all starts with mobile advertisement, where an AppCoin investment is made by a developer who is looking to gain visibility for his app. In legacy systems, most of these funds would be spent on middlemen that provide limited and hardly measurable value. Instead of resorting to these intermediaries, the AppCoins protocol proposes another model.

Up to 85% of all AppCoins spent in advertising are directly awarded to the user who downloads the app, apart from fees paid to the app store and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). With AppCoins, the user is not persuaded into downloading the app. Instead, he is incentivized to do so! Those AppCoins can be used to purchase in-app items, incentivizing even further engagement with apps and give users unforeseen app purchasing power. Of course, certain rules are put in place to avoid abuses from users who may seek to exploit this incentive.

So, not only do we have an efficient advertising model, we also have a system where the user actually keeps the money that would be spent on advertising and ends up returning it to the developer in the form of a purchase. This creates a virtuous loop of value between the developer and the user and is a big step in ensuring that access to apps is truly global. Users can make purchases regardless of their economic status and regardless of their access to financial services or payment providers.

While the use of AppCoins (APPC) as a reward system takes care of both the advertising and the in-app purchase issues, the use of AppCoins as a payment method ends up solving the third and final issue found in app stores, app approval.

This is a complex issue to solve as app approval is often-times connected to subjective rules that change based on the app store’s policies. Frequently, these policies are blurry and may lead to confusion from developers that get their apps rejected for no apparent reason or sufficient reasoning. On the other hand, dealing with malicious apps is also a considerable challenge. So, what is the AppCoins solution?

Instead of presiding over which apps are accepted, AppCoins delegates this job to the community in a decentralized and immutable fashion. Developers’ reputations are built through their transactional history across app stores, which is stored on the blockchain. This automates the process and creates a global reputation for apps, which is available in all app stores that have AppCoins available. Users can still mark developers as trusted, unknown or critical based on past experiences. However, to mark a developer as critical, a dispute has to take place, where the community is allowed to stake their coins and vote in favor or against the developer. The winning party will receive its tokens back with an additional 10% reward for providing this service, while the losing party will receive nothing. This creates an incentive for the community to moderate the app store itself, creating an environment that is defined by the users for the users.

Token and token sale

AppCoins (APPC) are the native utility tokens of the protocol. These tokens are used for a variety of transactions and they allow everyone to participate in the app economy without the need to access financial services, given that users can earn APPC by downloading apps. The token also eliminates the need for payment and adtech intermediaries, creating greater monetization potential for developers.

In order to fund the development of the AppCoins protocol and to ensure a fair and transparent distribution method for AppCoins (APPC), Aptoide is hosting an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in which 40% of the total APPC supply will be sold. The AppCoins ICO will start on the 13th of December of 2017 and will end on the 15th of January 2018, following an ICO pre-sale that was completed in November and successfully raised $1.8M USD. AppCoins will be available for a 0.000435 ETH starting price. APPC can be acquired with Ether tokens (ETH) only. The ICO has a 18,000,000 USD hard cap. Click here to learn more.

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